Geographical Information Systems are an invaluable weapon in the fight against crime. In this ever changing world, police forces such as the Gardai use advanced new technologies to tackle the many new challenges they face on a day-to-day basis.
OSi spatial data in a GIS can be used in a multi-faceted approach to policing, from active use by officers on patrol (personnel/vehicle tracking, in-vehicle mapping/routing, parole/probation monitoring, offender tagging, traffic mapping, road traffic incident mapping, crime scene analysis etc.) to police management back in the station allocating resources and directing investigations.
Crime analysts in police forces around the world use GIS as they search for patterns and trends in crime statistics so as to ensure that effective and efficient strategies are in place for the detection and prevention of crime. Therefore, OSi mapping and GIS have a vital role in what is now called ‘Intelligence-led-policing’.
In much the same manner as policing, GIS is also used by Defence Force personnel as a tool to protect our citizens and state from external attack or natural disasters. The Defence Force can be called upon to assist the Gardai and the emergency services in times of need. Of course, the Irish Defence Force also has an active role in peacekeeping around the globe.
A GIS system specifically tailored for use by the Defence Forces is known as a Tactical Battlefield Management system. This provides commanders with the ability to monitor forces on map-based displays while sending /receiving orders and messages. A key issue amongst all GIS systems is interoperability and the military face the same problems as they work hard to enhance their system so that it can interface with other GIS systems from the Gardai and other state bodies to multinational Defence Forces overseas (U.N. peacekeeping involvement).
We can rest assured knowing that the Gardai and Defence Force use OSi mapping and GIS technologies to maintain justice and peace in Ireland.