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Gov't looking to GIS technology to assist with security

Prime Minister Andrew Holness
 
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said Geo-spatial Information System (GIS) technology will play a major role in assisting the government's security objectives. 
 
Mr. Holness said this will allow for more informed and systematic intervention, in line with the approach being taken to address crime and violence.
 
He explained that the Government has enhanced the use of GIS in crime analysis by including mapped locations of reported criminal offences from which real maps can be created to show hot spots of  criminal activities.
 
The technology has also allowed for the continuous flow of data between intelligence, law enforcement agencies and security companies in real time and post operations.
 
Mr. Holness was speaking at the Inaugural Jamaica GIS User Conference in Kingston on Tuesday.
 
He pointed out that GIS technology has already been used to make decisions about the Zones of Special Operations, such as identifying clusters of crime and creating geographic boundaries.
 
However, Mr. Holness said the errors with the murder figures in Mount Salem highlighted flaws with the Government's use of the technology which will be addressed.
 
"We recognise that though we have aspects of the technology deployed in various arms of government, they are not all integrated in one single, accessible, standarised database, and so you would have heard some errors. But that was a very good learning exercise and experience for the government because what it did was re-enforce the need for an integrated approach to the use of GIS information," the prime minister argued.   
 
Mr. Holness revealed that the Government is making a major investment in GIS technology.
  
The prime minister said under the HOPE programme, a GIS group of  the National Service Corps has been created.
 
"We have created what is called the GIS Corp of National Service and we now have them working with the NWC to asset map all metres geo-located right here in Jamaica. So the NWC very shortly will be able to have a dashboard of all its metres across the country," Mr. Holness shared.  
 
He said young people were employed during the holiday period to do an asset map of all street lights in Jamaica and another GIS corp will be created to help the Met Office with the collection of rainfall data. 


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