Computerization and Bangladesh Police

The police were early adopters of computer database technology. In the United States the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) was established in 1967; police records were subsequently computerized and made available to police agencies throughout the country. The NCIC’s database enables local police departments to apprehend offenders who might otherwise evade capture. The database contains fingerprints, a registry of sexual offenders, and mug shots, and it can be queried for detailed information on stolen vehicles and warrants for firearms violations; it can even search for phonetically similar names.

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Similar databases maintained by U. S. states provide police with access to misdemeanor warrants, driver-citation [pic]records, and vehicle-ownership [pic]information. The European Union (EU) established a computerized [pic]information system—the Schengen Information System (SIS)—which allows the authorities of certain member states, plus some other European countries, to send or receive data about criminals, missing persons, stolen property, and other matters of interest to law enforcement officers. Each member of the EU, however, must devise its own computerized system to connect to the SIS.

The European Police Office (Europol) also maintains a computerized database. In addition, Interpol manages databases of fingerprints, DNA profiles, and [pic]information on stolen property and other matters, which member countries can retrieve through a global police- communications system known as I-24/7. Computer-assisted-dispatch (CAD) systems, such as the 911 system in the United States, are used not only to dispatch police quickly in an emergency but also to gather data on every person who has contact with the police. pic]Information in the CAD database generally includes call volume, time of day, types of calls, response time, and the disposition of every call. The Enhanced 911 (E911) system, adopted in the United States, instantly identifies the number of the phone from which the call is made, as well as the name and physical address of the person who owns the phone. Data maintained in the E911 system sometimes include a history of calls to the police from the caller’s location. When the CAD system is linked to a global positioning system (GPS), dispatchers can immediately identify the police ruiser nearest the scene of the emergency. Although [pic]records are essential for effective police operations, police departments would be overwhelmed without a mechanism for filtering [pic]information and making sense of it. Police have long been able to gather [pic]information from related cases by using whatever [pic]records were available to them, but, until the advent of computerized databases, such cases could be found only through the recollection of experienced investigators. Computerized [pic]records systems can be extremely effective in drawing out relationships between past and present cases and suspects.

The computer acts like a seasoned detective with an encyclopedic memory. Systems known as Compstat, used by a variety of large cities, enable police departments to piece together [pic]information and to deploy personnel efficiently. To control the law and order for a 160 million population, Bangladesh Police with its only 123 thousand law-enforcers need computerization more than the other Police do. Computerization, is not, however, to buy computer; rather it is a comprehensive managerial initiative to effective addressing for necessary hardware, software, network, training, maintenance and power back up system.

We have the few desktop or laptop computers in all major units; but like any other Government offices, those are used mostly for typing letters. Moreover, using computers for power point presentations, sending or receiving E-mails are also somehow popular in some offices. [1] Bangladesh Police, however, have done good progress in computerization in its some wings like Immigration, which run its customized database at its 15 out of 34 check points – covering 92% of total movement. Immigration database Fortrak 3. 0 is capable of capturing passengers’ photograph and fingerprint.

Fortrak 3. 0 has connectivity with BMET (Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training) or ‘manpower’ database. Police driven by own initiative also set up the connectivity with passport/visa office at Agargaon and Hajj office at Ashkona. CDMS – Crime Data Management System, is about to be installed in all 64 districts and 6 metropolitan courts. A CID-run project also deals with AFIS – Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Hopefully AFIS will be fully functioning within the next couple of months. CDMS is virtually automation of all court police registers.

It also will provide computer-produced ‘Bail-oppose-prayer’ or ‘Arrestee forwarding’ letter for prosecution to assist him with always-updated-criminal-and-crime information. Third Eye- an Intelligence collection modular is running in 12 districts. Some of the police units like SB, CID, DMP are using several off-the-shelves software like Analyst Note Book – an excellent tool for data analyzing and visual representation of output. Bangladesh Police also introduced PIMS – Personnel Information Management System in its all district level units.

With the joint effort by MOFA (Ministry of foreign Affairs) and SB (Special Brach), a virtual connectivity through VPN (Virtual Private Network) will enable the Government to collect on-line visa information of the incoming foreigners. This will also allow visa applicant to submit visa application on-line. Under the Access to Information (A2I) program, a project with title ‘Access to Police Information (A2PI)’ will allow citizen or victim to get the updated status of an under-trial or under-investigation case through mobile SMS.

More than 73 police units in Dhaka Metropolitan Area will be connected by Wi-Max based network. Police has an IT coordination cell headed by Additional IG Finance at Police Headquarters. This is to avoid any overlapping in hardware, software, network or training components. Among 06 major components of computerization like Hardware, Software, Network, Training, Maintenance and Power back up – right now, major challenge for police is the connectivity. We deadly need secured and dependable connectivity to share/exchange data vertically and horizontally.

At the same time, mid management should give priority to produce IT educated manpower both in field and management level. An extensive comprehensive effort should ensure that at least 25% of constables and ASI and 100% of officers SI and above have minimum IT education by the next 3 years. To present a better law and order situation in Bangladesh, computerization of Bangladesh police can provide comparatively better result than any other government offices or sections.

For example, sharing a wanted list database of more than 125 thousand criminals will create more than 100 times tough instance for a hiding subject. A person is now merely wanted by a single SI – who has been endorsed to arrest a warrantee. In a sharing-database-atmosphere, the subject may be virtually looked for by a team of several thousand. Sharing BRTA database by Highway police through mobile phone can reduce vehicle theft, forgery of driving license or vehicle registration. This will also help police to give more concentration on real suspects in the street.

A technology- based police means a better atmosphere for the peace-loving and law abiding citizens and a comparatively worse environment for the vice versa. This is the time for the rulers/policy makers to direct, rather, I should say, to compel police as well as its controlling administration to go for computerization more speedily than it is happening now. Spending one penny for police computerization will save the public interest that worth Thousands. ———————– [1] Internet