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Police In Jamaica Use High Tech To Spot Getaway Cars … Before They Get Away

KINGSTON — According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, 2019 saw 32 million international tourists descend upon the region. Those millions of tourists bring with them tens of billions of dollars – plenty to entice criminals.

Aviation Communications (AV COM) Jamaica Limited, which provides video surveillance solutions to the island countries and dependencies of the Caribbean from its headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, saw an opportunity to provide additional value by offering automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) to its customers, particularly law enforcement. It chose to partner with PlateSmart, and since 2019, the companies have been working hard to help secure the region.

“PlateSmart’s flexibility, which allowed us to work together and customize the solution to suit the needs of our Caribbean clients, made them a natural fit for us,” said Kayon Gibson, Vice President, Sales and Business Development, AV COM Jamaica. “Their ALPR solution is scalable, robust, and easy to integrate with the IP video surveillance infrastructure we sell and support.”

PlateSmart CEO John Chigos said the company’s solution has been well-received by law enforcement customers. “The software’s analytics and accuracy has surpassed all expectations and has helped law enforcement apprehend criminals faster than before.”

As an enterprise-grade solution, PlateSmart ARES® 3.0 software has virtually no upper limit to the number of cameras it can read. This makes it ideal for even the largest surveillance applications. In the Caribbean, it can even be configured to monitor feeds among islands, which is ideal for nations and dependencies that are part of an island group or archipelago.

Even better, PlateSmart ARES 3.0 returns search results within seconds, no matter how many cameras it is monitoring. In the aftermath of a crime, those seconds make it possible for police to apprehend suspects before they can make their getaway.

PlateSmart CEO John Chigos said that the advanced analytics PlateSmart ARES offers can help law enforcement prevent crime in the first place.

“Many solutions help police investigate crimes after the fact,” he said. “PlateSmart can also help stop crime by giving law enforcement the intelligence they need to see if a crime is being planned. This includes vehicle behavior like ‘casing’ a location in advance of a crime or attack. Our software’s ability to examine vehicle behavior means keeping more people safe and putting more criminals out of business.

“Simply put, the PlateSmart AI-driven software and analytics are unlike any other in the industry. It is proactive and predictive. And as has always been our philosophy, the customer owns all their data. They determine who accesses it as well as where and for how long it is retained. We never touch it.”

For more information or to schedule a demo, visit

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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