Consequences of Increased Use of Technology on Criminal Justice/ License Plate Reader Policing

Criminal Justice

Consequences of Increased Use of Technology on Criminal Justice/ License Plate Reader Policing

Consequences of Increased Use of Technology on Criminal Justice

Computer Fraud

             Digital connectivity enables the various users are interconnected despite the varying locations.  Criminal gangs have capitalized on the digital platforms to carry out fraudulent activities as argued in an Elaboration of computer Fraud by Pourghahramani (2018).  Computer Fraud is among the fraudulent activities in which the criminal gangs engage in. Pourghahramani (2018) describes computer fraud as any kind of input, alteration of data, deletion and the suppression of data to cause malice in an individual property and economic activity for the benefit of self or others.  The negative impact of the computer fraud is manipulation of the data in the computer so as to impact on the results in the system. Pourghahramani (2018) asserts that the computer fraud results in six main kinds of crimes; misuse of ATM, telephone abuse such as wiretapping, computer hoax, input and output storage manipulation, misuse of payment devices in the stores as well as misuse of the arcade machines.  Computer is esteemed as a device used in the execution of the criminal activities by intelligence services.

             The computer fraud can be overcome through the use of the software technological innovation in the policing industry. Specifically, argued in  Technological innovations in crime prevention and policing by (Byrne & Marx 2011),  the  development of the computer software that is useful in  monitoring individual communications and transactions over the mobile phones , using e-mails and on other social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  The new technology helps in dealing with computer fraud through interception of communication amongst the offenders that could probably lead to the crime occurrence.  The manipulation of the payment devices as well as misuse of arcade machines emanates from changed or manipulated passwords. The new technology will help in detecting the change of passwords that mainly occurs via emails. 

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In case of any sudden request in changing the credentials in a payment system, the organization can easily order for an investigation in the case.  Byrne and  Marx, (2011) also presents the privacy of the data as one of the critical components of solving computer fraud. The police surveillance through hardware equipment such as surveillance cameras can detect the intrusion of personal data such as misuse of the ATM cards.  The face recognition application can help in raising the alarm whenever any unauthorized person gets into information deemed as private. Encryption of data is a solution to the alteration of the computerized system input mode. The policing system should   be familiar with the manner in which the input is undertaken in crucial agencies so as to detect any fraudulent input activity meant to change the results of the system.

Identity Theft

             There is need for individuals and organizations to be cautious so as to evade the identity theft that leads to many causes of identity fraud.  As has been shown by (Hedayati, 2012), identity theft is prominent in technological age where the constant usage of the technological devices puts at risk the privacy of the various users. Specifically, new technological equipment such as mobile phones, PDAs, Internet, wireless technology and laptops in the arena of the World Wide Web has little to do in the management of private data.  Personal information on credit cards and social insurance is at risk of leaking to third party strangers due to the interconnectivity of the various devices.  Hedayati (2012) describes the act of saving passwords on the browsers as one privacy mistake that most of the users commit.  Crucial information such as mobile bank passwords and usernames saved on various browsers are a link to the potential hacking of the individuals’ bank account.

             The technological advancement age necessitates that individuals and the organizations be keen on the information that is shared on the online platforms.  Hedayati (2012) indicates that the types of identity on individuals and organizations is directly linked with the precautionary measure undertaken in the ensuring the privacy of personal information.   The perpetrators of identity theft have got three main motives as indicated by Hedayati (2012). The first motive of the identity theft is the requirement for further fraud.  The second motive is the intention of selling the stolen information and thirdly the identity theft occurs as a means of hiding the stolen identity.

            Identity theft as outlined by Hedayati (2012) could lead to disastrous criminal activities such as money laundering and terrorism. Illegal immigration takes place as the fraudulent persons take on different identities. Governments continue to loss funds in outcomes of stolen identities such as the immigration fraud, tax fraud, mortgage fraud and the financial fraud. Individuals are mostly impacted by the fraudulent online shopping due to the stolen credit card details.

            The solution to the persistent identity theft is technological inclusion in crime mapping of the hot spots where the incidences of identity theft are prominent. As outlined in Crime Mapping in India: by Jaishankar, Shanmugapriya & . Balamurugan (2004), hot spots includes the geographical environments where the  is a high clustering of the criminal activities.  The occurrence of the crime in the clustered environment is highly predictive. Policing department can easily carry out their operations in the clustered environment and nab the criminals.

            The technological advancement has made it possible to   include both the hardware and software technological activities in the crime mapping activities as described by (Ahmad, Uddin, & Goparaju 2017).  Remote data sensing, GIS and GPS can be used in crime mapping including the online platforms.  Identity theft can easily be predicted through an analysis of the phone data such as location and the identity of the owner. The criminal justice system can use the data in tracking down the criminals to exact locations and eventual persecution of the crime down. GIS is an essential element that different on the specific location of a crime such as a street or a particular building. The information helps in narrowing down the research on a particular person suspected of the crime. Information that is available in the online platforms such as historical activities on a particular browser helps in the solving the issue of the identity theft. Despite the measures incorporated by the criminal justice system, individuals and the organizations have got an obligation of encrypting their data and having various forms of authentication such as two-factor authentication in accessing personal accounts.

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License Plate Reader Policing

              The adoption of the technological advancement in the police department is esteemed as progress as outlined in The Adaptation of License-plate Readers for Investigative Purposes by (Willis, Koper, & Lum, 2017).  License plate readers are amongst the key advancement in the policing industry that stems from way back in the 1980s.  Willis et al, (2017) describe the license plate readers as mobile in that they can be mounted on a moving police patrol car, attached to a trailer or fixed to a pole.  The license plate reader act as high scanning camera that operate through  taking images of car plates that are either parked or on transit and storing the information on the car model and the color of the car.  Willis et al (2017) records that once the car plate is scanned the technological software instantly compares it to other existing databases that might be of interest to the policing unit.  

The policing unit usually stores number plates of cars that have been related with either terrorism, robbery or vehicles that have featured in the police watch list.  Willis et al (2017 states that once the car plate matches with the number in the police database, the technology releases signal alerts informing the police about the car.  In the manual process, the police could get into the car of the suspected offender, then he would enter the car data on the mobile plate reader terminal and compare it with existing watch list of cars as outlined in the Automatic License Plate Reader Technology as argued by (Ozer, 2016).   On a typical shift only around 150 number plates could be read. The automatic plate reader enables a huge amount of number plates to be scanned within a short time. Eventually, the policing activities such as the tracking of the   criminal gangs are easily accomplished.

             Ozer (2016) found that through an analysis of the timing model, the Automatic Plate Reader significantly improves the follow up model on policing as compared to the traditional models.  Ozer (2016) additionally performed human resource cost effectiveness survey. The findings indicate that the license plate reader technology is cost effective as it helps in the minimization of the resources used in the policing industry while maximizing on the work coverage.  Ozer (2016) applauds the new technological advancement as a way of dealing with the meager police resources.

             Ozer (2016), indicate that the mobile police license plate reader is an effective way of carrying out criminal policing. Through the technology, fewer police officers are able to follow up on arrests of crime related cars as compared to the traditional methodology of physical reading of the number plates.  Ozer (2016) describes the automatic license plate reader as being capable of detecting cars that were engaged in criminal activities such as defaulting in the ticketing payment as well as lack of insurance payment. Ozer (2016) additionally points out that the Automatic License Plate reader has enabled the crime prevention while advancing the implementation of the law in the police department.

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             Willis et al (2017) introduces a new concept in the application of the license plate reader  that is invention reinvention. The findings indicate that a new technology can be modified in its application phase to bring out another useful facet.  The  findings  describes the reinvention in that a new technology can be  applied in ways different from what the original designer envisioned depending on the organization application of the technology and its end users. The research entailed a study of the number plate readers placed in various spots through the entire city of Southbury.  Willis et al (2017) found out that the city of Southbury in comparison with most of the police departments within states in the USA performed optimally through the ability of collection of massive amounts of data on vehicles each day. License Place Reader technology had placed the city at an advantageous position.

             The findings by Willis et al, (2017) indicate that unlike the mobile police readers, the fixed plate readers gather a lot of data on the various components of a vehicle such as the plate, model and color. The fixed plate readers do not require turning on to work as compared to the mobile readers mounted on police cars that need to be turned on every often.  The police department in Southbury places the license plate readers in various parts of the country enabling the collection of vast amount of data on vehicles within the territory. The data can be used in both the current policing activity and can also act as future records of existing data.

             The research finding as outlined by Willis et al (2017) was indicative that the license plate readers’ performance could be enhanced through placing of the surveillance cameras in strategic locations throughout the city.  In the absence of the license plate reader, the surveillance camera could adequately provide a basis of capturing the details on the police car. However, License Plate reader technology proved useful as the surveillance cameras could not clearly document the number plate of the vehicle.  Willis et al(2017) states that the technological advancement helps the information acquired through licensed plate readers  and the surveillance cameras to be shared on different stored databases.  The study finds out that the synergy in the use of technology has improved the efficiency of license plate readers in curbing the criminal activities.

Weakness of the License Plate Reader Policing Technology

             The major weakness of the License Plate Reader Policing Technology is the high cost of the initial procurement of the devices as outline by (Ozer, 2016). Police departments are often underfunded and thus they may lack the resources required in the purchase of the automated equipment and the installation of the software needed to run the system successfully. An additional financial constraint is the training required of the various law enforcement officers won how to carry out license plate reader using the new technology and acting on the signals generated on the system.

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            Willis et al (2017) indicates that the successful execution of the license plate reader requires the willingness of the top leadership to assert the importance of the technological innovation on the junior officers. Eventually, the license plate reader effectiveness may be based on how an entire police department perceives the new technology. An additional weakness of the mobile license plate reader mounted on the police car is that it requires turning on in order to function efficiently. In case the police officers do not turn it on during patrols it will not function at all.  Willis et al (2017) expresses concerns in the license plate reader system storage of vast amounts of data on private vehicles that may not in any way be involved in criminal activities. The long duration in the manner in which the data is stored may raise questions on the privacy intrusion. There is need for addressing the issue of privacy even as the system proves efficient in crime management.

Bibliographic References

Ahmad, F, Uddin,  U, M.M Goparaju, L (2017). “Role of Geospatial Technology in Crime Mapping: A Perspective View of India.” World   Scientific News, 88(2) (2017) 211-226

Byrne, J., & Marx,G. (2011). “Technological innovations in crime prevention and policing. A review of the research on implementation and impact.” Journal of Police Studies, 20(3), 17-40.

 Hedayati A. (2012). “An analysis of identity theft: Motives, related frauds, techniques and prevention.” Journal of Law and Conflict Resolution, Vol. 4(1), pp. 1-12

 Jaishankar, K, Shanmugapriya, S &  Balamurugan, V (2004).  “Crime Mapping in India: A GIS Implementation in Chennai City Policing,” Geographic Information Sciences, 10:1,20-34,

Ozer, M. (2016). “Automatic license plate reader (ALPR) technology.” The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles, 89(2), 117–132

Pourghahramani, B (2018). “An elaboration on computer frauds from the perspective of Iran’s law and international instruments.” Forensic Research & Criminology International Journal, 6(2), 107-114

Willis, J. J.,Koper, C., & Lum, C. (2017). “The Adaptation of License-plate Readers for Investigative Purposes: Police Technology and Innovation Re-invention.” Justice Quarterly, 35(4), 614–638.

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