A pilot project for a Quick Response Patrol App launched for the Jamaica Constabulary Force last November is being described as successful.
The QR Patrol App is a 2D barcode that is often used to access information via mobile phone.
The App seeks to enable the Jamaica Constabulary Force to evaluate its functionalities and its benefit to the public.
The application is currently being used in the Kingston Central and St. James Divisions, and following further evaluation, will be introduced in all geographic divisions by the end of this month.
The main functionality of the app is to establish a location (checkpoint) where police personnel must visit whilst on duty.
The Ministry has bought and equipped members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force with smartphones to facilitate the use of the app.
The persons at the location will be issued with a QR code, and once the location is visited and the individuals engaged by the police, the officer will scan the QR code.
This programme will replace the signing of a log book and will provide the management team with the tools to evaluate patrol routes in a timely manner.
Minister Montague in commending the team said, “The development of the app will allow for a more scientific approach to police patrols combining both crime and patrol data in a standard format for analysis ultimately maximizing on the effectiveness of police patrols which will help to reduce crime”.
The QR codes will allow the remote monitoring of locations of the patrol team; receive real time feedback from the field including GPS location and send information from officers to a central repository where the data will be processed for intelligence.
The application facilitates multimedia communication between the police personnel in the field and the Divisional/Area Operations Management Team.
The app, brainchild of ACP Bishop Dr. Gary Welsh, was developed by the Ministry of National Security through a team comprising individuals from the Ministry’s Departments and Agencies and local universities.
This forms part of the Ministry’s Five Pillar Crime Reduction Strategy focused on effective policing which looks at using technology as a force multiplier to enhance the work of the JCF.
In affirming this Minister Montague stated, “The QR code will ensure that police personnel work more effectively by having them visit a number of locations while being on patrol instead of being stationed in one area.”
The QR patrol application is versatile and can document both the dynamic issues that may arise during the tour of duty as well as ensure that pre-planned routes are adequately patrolled.
More than 500 QR codes have been created, replacing log books at their current locations with new locations being added. QR codes will also be installed in Police Stations to facilitate greater accountability resulting in greater police presence in communities. Financial institutions, schools, merchants and vital infrastructure locations are some of the checkpoints where the application is being used.