Law Enforcement Technology:

Law Enforcement Technology has seen noticeable advancement since 1990 in the field of crime prevention. This essay highlights some of the developments and their impacts on crime prevention.

Modern technologies have become more prominent in the policing department to fight and prevent possible crime. Introduction of laser photonics has helped in enhancing surveillance in urban areas by employing laser scanning systems mounted on a motor vehicle or hand-held devices. Visibility is measured by utilizing a laser beam as a human gaze in areas more prone to crime.

Increased use of closed circuit cameras (CCTV), has improved the chances of identifying law breakers. CCTV cameras are installed at strategic points in the urban centers or on the streets and roads to capture the instantaneous happenings, and then relay the information to the monitoring security personnel in the control rooms. The control room personnel then direct the field police to the site that requires legal interventions including making arrests, (Siegel, 2008).

Thermal Imaging systems have made the work of security personnel in marine poorly visible marine patrol easier. The systems help in detecting hidden marine criminals and in reducing the vulnerability of coastal borders to foreign criminals and terrorists. This has also helped in reducing the number of suicides committed on the urban bridges, (Siegel, 2008).

Satellite technology has also contributed to the advancement in crime prevention technologies. Remote monitoring by satellite helps tracking of crime. Use of Global Position Systems (GPS) helps in locating the instantaneous location of goods in transit thereby counteracting instances

Law Enforcement Technology

of robbery of the cargo being transported. Vehicles fitted with GPS tracking devices become easy to recover if stolen than it was two decades ago. Remote areas like deserts and forests are some key targets for certain kinds of crime including production of illegal goods such as drugs. With the help of satellite monitoring systems, such crimes are easy to follow and prevent.

The rise of DNA technology has increased the extent to which crime is solved. In the past, judging incidences of crimes such as rape was limited to the availability of human witnesses, which is rare in such situations. The DNA technology is used today to identify the actual culprit by examining the biological samples such as semen left in the body of the victim. The DNA database is then consulted to match the DNA results and thus determine the criminal. DNA technology also helps in identifying people who have committed offences such as murder by scientifically examining any body traces including hair that the offender may have dropped at the scene of crime, (Shapland, 2009).

Finger prints and facial scanning and databases have helped in recognizing criminals. The police use finger print scanning systems to collect finger prints on crime scenes and compare them with their databases to arrive at the idea of who committed the crime. Facial tracing is applied to obtain a portrait of the looks of a criminal from the narration by an eye witness of the committed crime.

The introduction in ammunition scanning devices for detecting guns, gun powder and other explosives has heighten crime prevention in strategic places such as government offices, large organizations and social halls. The scanning systems are either installed on the main entrances of such places or are hand-held by the security personnel. X-ray scans at the airports has reduced the illegal international trade of unlawful goods such as drugs, weapons, parts of endangered animals species like elephant tusks and money laundering, (Shapland, 2009).

Advancement in wireless communication has made easy the network of defense systems both locally and internationally. Police in patrol can easily and quickly request for backup from the

Law Enforcement Technology

police base when the nature of crime out weighs their number. Presence of toll-free police hotlines provides the public to notify the police of any criminal activity taking place in any part of the country at any time of the day.

New technology in Electronic Communication makes it possible to keep a track of all calls made using mobile phones, including their source location and the destination. This makes it possible for the security department to track criminals by following the calls they make or receive using their mobile phones. This mean that all plans by potential offenders can be realized in advance and the crime prevented by arresting them.

Information communication technology has been incorporated into the defense departments today to fight the rising cyber crime. All internet browsers in the world are given unique identification numbers technically known as IP address. The IP address helps the ICT security personnel to identify the source and the computer used in any cyber crime such as online sexual harassment, website hacking and money laundering. Terrorists have been targeting the Internet to arrange their criminal activities. This has made the today’s defense departments more serious in monitoring what is being relayed via the internet, (Jones & Kovacich, 2006).

In conclusion, much technological developments have occurred since 1990 that has helped in preventing, identifying and combating crime today thereby reducing the level of crime and promising a peaceful future.


Jones & Kovacich (2006). High-Technology Crime Investigator’s Handbook: Establishing and

Managing a High-Technology Crime Prevention Program: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006

Law Enforcement Technology

Shapland et al (2009). Urban Crime Prevention, Surveillance, and Restorative Justice: Effects of

Social Technologies: CRC Press, 2009

Siegel (2008). Criminology: Cengage Learning, 2008