Wed, Feb 25, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Taipei hopes to kick-start anti-crime database soon

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The Taipei City Police Department has installed a criminal database aimed at helping prevent and crack down on crime, and plans to kick the system into high gear next month, municipal law enforcement officers said.

The database holds the National Police Agency’s criminal records from the past five years and includes a geographic information system to identify “hot spots” where various types of crime occur.

The geographic information system will allow police to view, understand, analyze, interpret and visualize data through maps, reports and charts that reveal relationships, patterns and trends, officials said.

‘HOT SPOTS’

Once crime “hot spots” have been identified, police patrols will be intensified in those areas and officials will be able to identify the relevant crime-prevention measures that are needed to improve law and order, they said.

The database was completed in December and has been undergoing testing since early last month, with branch bureaus and precincts already using the new information system in their daily crime-fighting efforts.

If all goes well, the officials said, the new database will be formally inaugurated next month.

Establishing a criminal database to improve law enforcement was one of Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) campaign promises.

HURDLES

The installation of the system, however, has encountered many technical hurdles.

Hau has directed city agencies to work in concert to overcome their difficulties after he toured the real-time crime-fighting center in New York City’s police headquarters last year.

“Taking a cue from the New York Police Department’s practice of sorting out causes and modes of crimes by extensively analyzing criminal records, we have managed to establish our own database to identify criminal ‘hot spots,’” Hau said after being briefed on the new system at Taipei’s police headquarters on Monday.

The database can also be used as a joint crime-fighting platform by connecting with the National Police Agency and police bureaus in neighboring cities and counties, city police officers said.

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