As technology continues to progress and provide further degrees of convenience to our lives, the world of criminal justice is also influenced by the by-products of this new and exciting era. The rapid availability of new technology in the world of crime has not only provided law enforcement officials with a greater array of tools and new methods to aid them in the pursuit of criminal justice, but it has also provided them with new challenges, as criminals now have a similar advantage in aiding them in their illegal activities.
The World Wide Web is a major factor in the implementation of technology in crime prevention. Many police departments have updated their websites to include crime mapping features that are updated frequently. Not only are police officers able to use this feature to study and analyze the climate of criminal activities in their immediate area, but these online crime mapping resources also provide residents with the ability to view maps of their cities and learn where serious crimes have occurred. The global positioning system (GPS) has also been a significant asset for law enforcement officials, enabling them to more easily track and navigate through neighborhoods while patrolling and investigating criminal activities in their cities.
The use of technology in crime prevention isn’t necessarily confined to the typical imagery of “high-tech” computer systems and networks, either. Many significant uses of technology in crime prevention can be found in the uniforms that officers wear and the ways that they communicate with one another. Since the 1970s, police officers have worn body armor to help protect themselves in hostile environments and situations. The National Institute of Justice has released studies that show an officer of the law is 14 times more likely to survive a serious assault if he or she is equipped with this kind of body armor.
Another oft-looked over example of technology in crime prevention is the cell phone. When compared to a time when officers and citizens alike were tethered to a landline when communicating with the rest of the world (often in dangerous circumstances), the cell phone’s ubiquitous nature in our society has allowed for a more instantaneous and accurate streamline of communication for all parties involved – civilians can report criminal activity anywhere and anytime, while officers are able to respond and alert their teams of any immediate updates in investigations and pursuits. Additionally, photo and video features have allowed users an even greater accuracy in recording and reporting criminal activity.
With advances in technology showing no sign of slowing down any time soon, the world of criminal justice is sure to continue to benefit and grow from these developments.