We all know that Law Enforcement services nationwide have access to some of the best technology available. In fact, technology is making it that much easier for police professionals to ensure public safety and security while making quick decisions.

Arrests can be made even decades after a crime has been committed, fugitives can be tracked and apprehended quickly, and white collar crime can be stopped in its tracks, all in the click of a button. In this article, we will discuss how technology has opened ground breaking opportunities for law enforcement agencies globally and throughout Canada.

1. Social media

New and unique ways of using social media are being used to provid vital information to solve crimes. Many law enforcement agencies are being very active on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Not only is this one way they interact with the community, but social media allows them to gather evidence based on the activity and behaviours of individuals of interest. More importantly, social media gives law enforcement an opportunity to gain valuable insight based on a suspect’s mentality and ideologies behind making those decisions.

Make no mistake, it is not only used to track criminals. It can also be used to find out more about people who may be missing, distressed, or may need help. Social media will be used very extensively and with greater sophistication to gather, track, and reveal valuable information as well as for community engagement.

2. Facial recognition

Facial recognition software allows for quick identification through surveillance. The police, as well as Border Services agents can identify fugitives, prevent false arrests, and make room for safer patrols and a safer community. Biometric facial recognition can detect faces, facial features and match them with files in stored databases.

Extensively used by the FBI in the United States, facial recognition has an abundance of opportunity. It will only become more accurate and sophisticated in the coming years.

3. Proactive policing

Proactive policing is heavily reliant on data. By building crime analytics dashboards, law enforcement can take advantage of predictive policing and turn it into proactive policing. Software in police car laptops will display maps showing locations where crime is likely to occur next.

This objective analysis of trends and prior instances of crime within a certain area of a city will substantially help replace trend spotting and gut feelings of patrol officers.

4. Minor crime response

Responding to minor crimes is one of the most critical daily activity of any police officer. Certainly it requires a lot of resources and in the future, there is potential that the police may not show up if a minor crime has occurred.

In 2015, Durham Regional Police launched an online reporting system which will allow residents to report minor crimes online. Many other Canadian police agencies have a system that provides similar minor crime reports including Peel Regional Police, Toronto Police, and the Ontario Provincial Police.

Reliance and implementation of online software will allow officers to concentrate on cases and calls that are much more serious in nature.