While crime fighting techniques at a regular police station are not nearly as high tech as an episode of CSI nonetheless there are many technologically based resources an investigator can use to solve a crime.
The advent and availability of national and international databases has greatly increased crime solving productivity. There are many opponents of such technology mainly because of privacy issues but a national database allows various intelligence and law enforcement agencies to compare notes regarding a case or suspect. This background information can save valuable time and help with the flow and timely effectiveness of a case.
Other technologies that have been taken to new heights around the world include surveillance. CCTV or Closed Circuit Television has been in use in parts of Europe and Asia for decades and is thought to be a major deterrent for crime. CCTV is extremely prevalent in the United Kingdom where over half a million cameras are thought to be in London alone and close to five million around the country. One agency estimated that you can be filmed over fourteen times in any given day if you are in Central London. CCTV was a response to a slew of NRA terrorist bombings in the United Kingdom in the 1970′s and early 1980′s which killed several people including Lord Mountbatten, a close member of the royal family.
Another highly visible technological strategy used by law enforcement agencies is DNA technology. DNA technology has become a fashionable means of identifying perpetrators of crimes. We see it every day on television and believe it to be irrefutable proof that a person is guilty of a crime. However, there have been many cases where the evidence was later refuted due to faulty laboratory work. DNA in and of itself is very damaging evidence but how testing is conducted and by whom is just as important as what it results show.
Technology and crime prevention is a symbiotic relationship that will continue but we have to acknowledge that the technological advances are only as good as they people who interpret and perform them.