Top 10 Latest Crime-Fighting Technologies

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Hi-tech GPS enabled phones, more accurate guns and faster cars – The criminals have taken their favorite cat-and-mouse game with the police on to a whole new level. Crime-fighting has become tough but law enforcement agencies are not willing to give up, not yet. From vomit-inducing flashlight to brain fingerprinting, here are the top ten hi-tech ways in which the cops are getting back at the goons.

10.  Automated license plate recognition cameras


All the car thieves out there have to now learn a magic trick as well. Once they steal the car, they have to make it disappear because taking it out for a run might land them behind bars.
Automated license plate recognition cameras are being used by patrol cars (even choppers) to track down auto-related crimes. These cameras can take pictures of the license plates from a distance. The pictures are run against a database of stolen vehicles to find possible matches.

9. Brain Fingerprinting


Remember how cops are advised to get into the mind of the criminals to handle them better? Well, they are now taking the advice literally. In brain fingerprinting, the subject is shown pictures on a computer screen. This person has to wear a headband that will measure cognitive brain responses to the stimuli he watches on the screen. An EEG (electroencephalograph) picks up distinct responses to words, sounds or images that are related to the crime.

The technology has been used to obtain guilty plea from criminals who had refuted allegations of knowledge about their crimes. Brain fingerprinting revealed that their brains responded to crime-related details shown on the computer.

8. Shoe Printing


Here is another technology that is going to make “perfect crime” something that happens only in fiction. Researchers in UK have made an automated system that compares features on shoe soles of suspects with those of the shoe prints left behind at the crime scene.  Since shoe prints are something that criminals often leave behind, a UK act gives this forensic evidence the same legal validity as DNA and fingerprints.

Shoe prints have been used in the past as evidence but it involved human analysis and interpretation. The new technology uses image processing to find out about the sole’s features like logos, circles or ridges. The results are compared with the prints taken in custody suites for a possible match.

7. Shot Spotting


The time between a gunshot and arrival of police can make a huge difference in nabbing the criminal or providing medical help. Cops in Washington, D.C. have employed an acoustics-based system called ShotSpotter to drastically minimize this response time.

The gunshot sensor system picks up sound waves of a muzzle blast. GPS receivers in the system narrow down to the exact coordinates of the spot and forward it to nearest 911 centers.

6. Plant DNA to knock off Counterfeiters


The bad news has arrived for the fakers worldwide. Scientists have discovered something that is all set to bust the fake brand party. This little something is no GPS tracking device but a simple code embedded in a plant. An elite label is now going to use plant DNA in its products to make them distinctly unique. All that the law enforcement agencies would need are scanners to tell the genuine product from the fake one.

A similar DNA marker was embedded in a bank’s cash boxes. When two men tried to tamper with the boxes in bank heist, the DNA strands in the cases helped the police to nab the culprits.

5. 3-D Technology


Law enforcement agencies have finally found their new crime buster and it comes in the “avatar” of three-dimensional technology.  It can pervade all aspects of law, right from nabbing the criminal to bringing him to justice.

It is now possible to create a 3-D image of a bullet that has been fired and then find a match from previous criminal cases of shoot-outs. A Forensic Science institute in Connecticut can deftly produce 3D images of crime scene using software called DeltaSphere-3000 3D Scene Digitizer. Police in Japan have employed the technology for facial recognition to fight crimes committed by people of foreign origin. Three-dimensional images of public places and structures are being stored to help the police foil future terrorist attempts.

4. Property Marking System


No, we are not talking about dogs here. Humans too, can now mark their property and goods to deter trespassing and forceful entries.

Many houses in the UK are using a generic property marker called SmartWater to deter thieves and burglars. This water-based solution can be sprayed or painted to mark your prized possessions with a unique chemical code. In cases of thefts, stolen items can be identified by the chemical “barcode” and returned to the actual owner.

3. Vehicle Slowdown System


Car chase movie scene just got shorter. General Motors has equipped its cars with a unique in-vehicle safety system called OnStar. Besides being GPS-enabled, the system also comes with a helpful vehicle slowdown feature. Cops can ask an OnStar operator to transmit a signal to the car being pursued. The signal restricts the vehicle’s fuel reserves and slows it down to about five miles an hour.

2. Body Odor to sniff out criminals


You read it right. It is now possible to use body odor as a biometric identifier to nab a culprit. A police canine research center in China is creating a unique database of people with criminal records. The center is collecting body odor of criminals so that they can be later used to match the smell in a crime scene with the help of their ace canines.

1. Vomit Inducing Flashlight


The US Department of Homeland Security has developed a flashlight that is guaranteed to bring a fleeing criminal down on his knees. What else would he do when he is gripped by a sudden bout of horrid puking?

The hi-tech flashlight, called the Dazzler, emits LEDs that can have psychophysical effects on a person. It can cause immediate immobility through extreme physical imbalance like disorientation and nausea. Now we know why the cops crib about how policing has become a really dirty job.

by Mankani Deepa


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8 Comments

  1. Science has come a very long way in being able to finger a criminal. There will still be crimes that are not solved but it makes me very happy to know that a lot of them are going to be solved on what used to be flimsy evidence. My sister in the UK is making a database of shoe prints and it is really helping capture criminals. She is a forensic specialist and is in high demand. I am damn pround of her! Helping the police capture dastardly criminals with what used to be overlooked evidence.

  2. Eye witnesses brought us eye gouging and murder. Car alarms brought us car jackings. Electronic money brought us killing the victim before they can freeze the accounts and also removing an eye witness. Raising kid nappings to death penalty seems like a surefire way of never seeing the child again. The arms race continues…
    Much like the TSA, for every 100 million spent on prevention and detection, a new $100, or worse, FREE solution is discovered.
    Today we have a list of 10 things of which most will require training, a whole new pile of tech and a whole IT backend to support. Tax money hard at work. My argument is that it will not prevent crime, only change the way crimes are solved and alter the way future crimes are commited.
    10. plate recognition – Swap plates. duh. Kids are already doing this to avoid the red light cameras and worse – to frame their enemies. When was the last time you verified your car has the correct license plates?
    9. brain fingerprint – worse than a lie detector. how is a baseline established? Hypnotic triggers can prepoison this one. Confessions from the perp are easy when you have intimidating tech. How many people fight radar tickets even when they know they were legal? There’s an old case in the US where a perp confessed while a copy machine was producing “you are lying” ‘reports’ every time the cop pressed the button….
    8.Shoe fingerprints – I realize that a crime of passion will likely occur while you are wearing your own shoes… but for all this money on development we will simply set a precedent that the shoes, even without blood on them need to disappear.
    7. Shot spotting – great – so we can coroberate the physical evidence that a gun was used to insert the bullets into the victim’s body. I wonder if crossbows can be pimped enough to earn street cred.
    6. Plant DNA – There must be a better use for this. I know women who would buy the device in order to expose that another woman’s designer fashions were from the flea market.
    5. 3D – I am only concerned with the misuse and unjustified faith juries have in computers.
    4. Property Marking – I’ve been burglarized and robbed… Still, this is gross. Especially if it is black light reactive. – that watch may be expensive but you aren’t getting laid in a club with glowing crap splattered across your jewely. ewwww.
    3.Vehicle slowdown – Aside from the fears of ‘bad people’ being able to crack the system and wreak havoc on a tremendous scale, I don’t like the idea of big brother having the power to enforce a state of emergency in this capacity.
    2. Body odor – I have many canine friends but I could not cull a life based on their testimony. Fear sniffers at airports are horrible idea as well.
    1. Vomit inducing flashlight – I’ll drop this into the ‘great legal weapons for use on civilians’ along with pepper spray, heat guns, sound cannons, fire hoses, teargas, and rubber bullets. Sure, they work but for what cause? It enables the people with power to stiffle changes that won’t happen until the cause rises to a level that is worth dying for. Is that good? No, IMHO. I know I sound like one who types while wearing a tinfoil hat but that is in our ‘it could never happen here’ country… These techs will be sold to almost any country that wants them. Even Nokia’s ‘legal’ cell phone scan and jam equipment was ‘legally’ sold to Iran.
    Okay, sleep meds kicking in – Sorry for the rant… no time to spell check and you’ll have to google for citations… Goodnight 🙂

  3. George Orwell may well have been a prophet. I agree with Jimbo that these are all just means for the "Haves" to control the "Have-nots" and in the end will do very little to stop crime.

  4. for the first time in my internet life have I seen such insightful replies, George Orwell warned us years before, but then most people don't read, they watch CNN. I like this site, it goes into book marks.

  5. Any new development or product that comes along, for the police, I personally hate to see. I was peppered in my sleep for years and years. This occurred in my own home, it was done by the neighbor across the street. He had sky lights installed in the roof of his home and from one on the back side of the crest of the roof, he would shoot "Pepperballs" at the roof of my home. Bullets and Pepperballs will not shoot around corners, however Pepperballs, have a rather steep arc for trajectory, and can literally shoot around a corner when that corner is in a vertical position to the line of fire.

    In other words my neighbor could shoot Pepperballs over the roof of his home, and have them impact on the roof of mine, without me being able to see him or photograph him doing this.

    With in the system in the United States, many people are harassed, or entrapped by engineered entrapment, with enough knowledge of the target and enough engineering nearly anyone can be entrapped.

    One of the things that is done in engineered entrapment is constant telephone surveillance for years, with no legal reason for this invasion of privacy, it is done to gather knowledge of how this person can be manipulated into committing a crime.

    Psychological entrapment or entrapment engineering are the same thing.

    America truly needs an adjusting court decision to establish the legal bounds for this sort of thing.

    Without any criminal behavior, I have been subjected to forty five years of undeserved attention or surveillance, after years of this surveillance I did do some thing that I should have not have, but as I said almost anyone can be entrapped with this sort of program.

  6. Common Sense Inquisitor on

    Mankani,

    Great list, but there is huge grammatical error in #1.

    You said: “the Dazzler, emits LEDs that can have…” The interpretation is that the flashlight literally shoots LEDs.

    The correct sentence should read something like this: “the Dazzler, uses LEDs that emit light [pulses of light ?] that can have…”

  7. I think it is the best way for sudent to learn and know online waht is the murder and how it to be handle and also what type of mureder and all the reason to starder and how it to be found and showup for people

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