Baguio City, Philippines: A research team from the University of the Cordilleras (UC) is developing a crime mapping system using GIS for the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO). According to researchers, the system will help augment lack of police force as a crime map helps determine where crimes usually occur; hence police could deploy additional police in crime-prone areas.
Unlike the analogue maps still widely used by the police, a digital map shows real time situations, said Engr. Nathaniel Lubrica, a member of the research team. Preparing maps using GIS helps in crime prevention and reduction; identification of crime hotspots; helps in the formulation of strategies in deterring crime; helps in police tactical analysis; helps those in the police, prosecutors and psychologists understand the underlying causes of crime; rationalises dispatch of police personnel; and it could be used as part in prosecution and serves as guide in the creation of programs to deter the occurrence of crimes.
The programme involves three phases. The first phase involves data collection where current data will be transformed into digital maps. This phase will take about six months to finish. The second phase is implementation of the programme through installation of a system of computer networks and training of personnel. This phase will take about two months to implement. The third phase involves research, using data obtained from digital maps such as common profile of crime offenders, areas where various crimes usually occur, setting-up of a database of the profile of juvenile delinquents and possible institutionalisation of rehabilitation options.
UC will be implementing the project free of charge. The BCPO, however, is expected to provide the software and equipment needed to jumpstart the project. The research team admitted that procurement of high end computers, handheld GPS (global positioning system) tracking devices and the software itself would cost millions. The project, excluding tracking devices, costs P3 million.