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New gadgets for cops


KINGSTON – By the middle of next month the police should be equipped with hand-held devices that will link them to the traffic ticketing database, giving them up to date information on motorists with outstanding tickets and warrants.

Senior Superintendent of Police Radcliffe Lewis told journalists of the development at yesterday’s Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange as he revealed that, despite recent steps to encourage offenders to pay up traffic fines, some $2 billion in penalties were still outstanding.

Next month’s introduction of the devices will be the first phase of the roll-out, which is expected to see 300 machines being given to police officers islandwide.

“As we speak, training is in progress for the use of the devices. So by mid-November the first 60 should be rolled out,” Lewis said. “We already have these devices, and we have had them for some time now.”

Lewis said the number of devices will be increased over time to effectively cover the entire island.

The devices will also be linked to the system at the Transport Authority.

“These devices will be able to print tickets on spot from the system,” Karey Rowe, general manager, finance and planning at the Transport Authority, said. “So the problems we are currently having will be a thing of the past.”

The devices, when linked, will be able to access the driver’s history in terms of number of tickets and warrants issued and if these have been paid.

The devices are expected to minimize the handwriting of tickets, reduce data-entry errors, while also making it easier for the police to detect repeat offenders and serve as a deterrent to motorists committing traffic breaches.

Up to January this year, the Government netted $340 million from the six-month-long traffic ticket amnesty, which took effect from July 1 last year. That pardon freed motorists from additional fees and penalties on unpaid tickets issued prior to September 21, 2010, once they were paid in full over the period. (Jamaica Observer) 

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