Keeping tabs on Gangsters

November 20, 2009

Is one of the headlines in the mornings Bermuda Sun.  The article goes on describe the initiative.

Crime fighters could soon be able to keep tabs on gangsters with electronic GPS tags. The initiative would enable security teams to track the movements of criminals in real-time, will initially be used to monitor offenders when they are released on bail. 

I’m all for fighting crime in Bermuda, but I’m not exactly sure how well this would work.  I don’t have anything that uses GPS to tell me where I am, but from what I’ve heard, it’s not overly accurate in Bermuda – please comment and let me know if it is more accurate than what I have heard but it can be at least up to a km out.  The article says that such tags would have been useful at last weeks Southside shooting…I can just see it now…umm.umm..no officer I wuz out havin a drink at white horse…I didn’t shoot no body…

They other thing I don’t understand about this is – who is going to be sitting there monitoring the system that monitors the real-time movements of criminals??  Hell, we can’t even get people to monitor the CCTV cameras all over the City of Hamilton. 

I think this is a good idea, just not well thought-out.  We are looking for quick fixes and band-aid solutions to crime in Bermuda, not the root cause of what’s going on. I think we also need to focus on good parenting, instilling morals and respect in our youth and education!


  1. GPS is pretty accurate depending on the equipment and antenna.

    My phone’s GPS without an antenna attached is accurate to about 10 feet when outside.

  2. Thanks Denis.

    I would also assume that if this is going to move forward that we would invest in decent equipment and antenna.

  3. The issue with GPS is not its level of accuracy in telling where you are, but rather with the taxi service it was useless because the GPS considers Spanish Point to be the closest point to Dockyard and so was attempting to route drivers from the geographically closest point, not the real closest point.

    GPS tracking would be fantastic for repeat offenders – especially since a very small number of people are responsible for a very large portion of crime (this is where a 3 strikes rule would really work to put the perma-offenders behind bars, and give strong motivation for the non-career criminals to shape up).

    • Thanks Al, I fully understood the issue the taxi service had with GPS. It was my understanding from a few friends of mine, that the GPS built in blackberries can occasionally be about 10 metres out – mainly do the overlay onto the Bermuda map on Google maps and in the inaccuracy of the map. So long as the investment is made in decent tags and mapping this service should work in theory.

      I think it would work well for repeat offenders – just question who is going to monitor the set up since we already seem to be short of police officers between crime, traffic and regular walking the beat. I still think this is a short term solution and that the cause of such issues need to be addressed.

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