After 60 years of independence as a country, Ghana cannot emphatically brag of an effective police
(security) operating security system but rather, we are noted as the hub of Corruption, Greed and
In today’s world of fiscal uncertainty and ever-increasing budget constraints, law enforcement agencies
are forced to find ways to meet higher service demands with fewer resources. To meet these challenges,
police agencies need to maximize their return on investment (ROI). This means using every available
asset to their most optimal effect.
Below are my professional reasons why it’s time we allow GIS operate to its max in Ghana;
GIS integrates available resources to locate crime scenes.
Ghana is blessed to high giant telecommunication companies (MTN, AirtelTigo, Vodafone, etc.) , the
Ghana National Data Center, Financial institutions (EcoBank, Barclays Bank, Ghana Commercial Bank,
etc.), Hospitals and other data collecting institutions, the police can make use of a GIS integrated system
which would make available high level information to track and locate perpetrators. With the
availability of mobile technologies, computer-aided dispatch (CAD), records management systems
(RMS), and automated vehicle location (AVL) systems, the police department using Geographical
Information Systems to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of
geographical data to fight crime in Ghana. The combined data, software and analysis tools from these
systems serve many functions, including the delivery of fast, effective call response times; managing
crime reports; and improving the effectiveness of intelligence-led, and place-based policing
GIS provides planning and analysis to fight crimes.
With the available data from the police department, effective police work can be done with intimate
knowledge of criminal behavior and illegal activities. Over the past years, the research, investigating and
reporting department in the Ghana police quarters have recorded various crimes with their specified
locations. These available information would be used in predicting trends and continuously re-evaluating
tactics and strategies using past and present records. Yet understanding exactly these issues in a holistic
manner is difficult. The comprehensive analysis tools available in GIS gives frontline supervisors the
opportunity to proactively fight crime and perform community policing by monitoring and reporting.
With the help of spatial information, police can view and analyze crimes and event data to help officers
make arrests and hold them to the highest accountability standards.
GIS ensures an effective Police Operation
Every day, we see Ghana police patrol cars moving to-and-fro performing various forms of operations.
We can then establish the fact that the primary function of most police agencies is to patrol. Our police
officers have long focused on random patrols of their assigned beat areas and responded to calls for
service as assigned. If after 60yrs we cannot have GIS provide an information-based map interface to
expedite and improve this process, then clearly our leaders have failed us and our generation to come.
We must now fight through the lateness and allow technology with GIS do the simple magic. GIS can tell
commanders where their personnel should be deployed for optimal effectiveness, including factors like
time of day and day of week. GIS can also be used to predict crime spikes and spot trends as they
develop. Dispatchers can use GIS to quickly see the location of a call. They can then use AVL to see
where officers are on a map and deploy the closest officer based on this information.
Real-time crime centers (RTCCs)
Obviously, RTCC are becoming more prevalent in law enforcement. As calls come in, the RTCC with GIS
can map and analyze the information as well as bring up previous calls to that location and compare
similar activity from other locations around the reported incident. Let’s take a perfect example of the
recent crimes that have occurred in our society – The Royal Motors Day Light Robbery. If citizens are
effectively educated to call the police in times of events like this, the RTCC would send information to
the closet police patrol to move to the scene. This additional intelligence allows officers to better
understand the situation they are entering. Mobile devices can be used by officers to receive
information from RTCCs or dispatch centers and help them identify suspicious activity, access suspect
information, and perform on-the-fly crime analysis in the field.
In conclusion, I believe the government together with other leaders can take high priority – effective and necessary –
steps to address the security issues in our country. It very sad to see that our police
department become proactive only when alarming security threats hits our country and innocent lives
are lost. Let’s stop politicizing everything. Ghanaians are tired of seeing the offices of police commanders like
Kofi Boakye made redundant, unnecessary police shake-up, deployment of CCTV cameras to police
quarters, inadequate police tools and equipment (including GIS), and what have you.
GIS is a complete system to ensure law enforcement. It’s affordable and scalable and fits into existing
IT or operates as a stand-alone solution. The benefits of GIS is widespread and must be utilized to the
As written by Michael-Sam Vidza Jnr.
*All rights reserved. We encourage shares. Plagiarism is punishable by law*