Use more technology to fight crime
President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Sir Dennis Byron, has called for increased use of technology by the police, particularly in Jamaica, to reduce crime.
He contends that in Jamaica's ongoing development of justice reform initiatives, technology must be pivotal in the interventions being considered to fight crime. "This includes the use of wireless surveillance, global positioning systems, personal digital assistant devices, in-car computers and vest-mounted cameras to enhance and eventually replace handwritten police reports, station diaries and eyewitness testimony," Sir Dennis explained.
He was delivering the 23rd annual Churches' Emancipation Lecture at Webster Memorial United Church in Kingston on Sunday.
Sir Dennis noted that criminal justice reform initiatives already undertaken in Jamaica have demonstrated that the process requires "cross-disciplinary, holistic, cultural and societal approaches" to yield the desired outcomes.
He further stated that it was also necessary to lobby dispensational change among all the major stakeholders, including the police, judiciary and legal fraternity and correctional service.
Sir Dennis cautioned, however, that investments in technology must be coupled with adequate training of the persons who will use the inputs to ensure strategic and optimal use and outcomes that redound to the nation's benefit.
The CCJ president also emphasised that introducing alternative dispute resolution practices for lesser crimes, and encouraging more persons committing offences to plead guilty for their indiscretions, are among the measures that can further strengthen the ongoing reforms and complement recommended strategies.
The 2016 Churches' Emancipation Lecture was held under the theme 'The Lesson and the Legacy: Justice Reform and Emancipation'. It aims to provide the public with in-depth analyses about the impact of slavery and emancipation on the Jamaican and Caribbean people.