Police National Computer Centre – Using Technology to Fight Crime


The Police National Computer Centre is assisting the fight against crime, by providing officers in the field with timely and accurate data to enable better deployment of resources for the apprehension of criminals.
Norris Rhoomes, Director of Management Information System (MIS) and Information Technology at the centre, tells JIS News that the PNCC provides various police stations with crime pattern analysis data, which is gathered through its Geographic Information System.
Explaining, Mr. Rhoomes says that data on murders received from the Statistics Department are plotted on a map and given to the stations to enable them to identify crime patterns and allocate the necessary resources based on the situation.
“That helps them a lot in their operations because they can click on a murder in a particular area and they could see the time and the date and they could see if there is a pattern in terms of break-ins and so on. They could put more resources in that area and could make sure that there is more foot patrol and/or mobile patrol.”
He further points on that the analysis is now done on a weekly basis up from once per month based on the frequency of murders.
This process, he says has helped crime fighting tremendously, and is being enforced by newly instated Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mark Shields.
The MIS Director says that assistance is also given to Operation Kingfish, by providing intelligence links with agencies such as the Inland Revenue Department and the firearms database, to allow for the checking of motor vehicles and ownership, as well as to verify whether persons are licensed firearm holders.
There is the intention to connect to overseas firearms agencies in the future, he tells JIS News.Meanwhile, training in computer search and seizure, conducted by the Royal Canadian Mountain Police, has been instrumental in resolving a number of cases, among them the high profile Andrade-Gooden murder case in 2004.
Mr. Rhoomes explains to JIS News, that the training provided, enabled the PNCC team to unearth vital information from the computer of the 36-year old female victim, Ingrid Andrade-Gooden, which assisted in cracking the case and the conviction of her husband, 39 year-old Paul Andrade, for the murder.
The PNCC, which boasts the most comprehensive data on common locations including churches, schools and places of business in the island, also provides network and technical support for several of the island’s police stations and the linking of the stations.
So far, the five area headquarters and special divisions have been computerized, inclusive of the Criminal Investigation Bureau headquarters, the Bureau of Special Investigations, the National Intelligence Bureau, the Forensic Laboratory and the Traffic Division.
In addition, there are links to most of the 19 divisional headquarters and arrangements are being finalized with Cable and Wireless Jamaica Limited for the use of more cost effective line connections.
Turning to plans to connect police stations to court facilities, Mr. Rhoomes tells JIS News that the centre was awaiting the completion of the process to install computers at all of the island’s courthouses. The project is being undertaken by the Justice Ministry and is aimed at bringing the courts online by year-end.
In terms of acquiring new technology, Mr. Rhoomes mentions the acquisition of an automated palm and fingerprint information system for the Fingerprints Branch and an Integrated Ballistic Information System for the Forensic Lab, to allow for onsite testing of spent shells or warheads found at a crime scene, to ascertain whether a weapon was used in other cases.
All these developments, he tells JIS News, should be actualized by June this year. The PNCC also has plans to acquire a vehicle tracking software for the Force, to further enable the efficient deployment of vehicles in emergencies.
Established in 1991, the PNCC is the parent centre for several departments in some six divisions across the island. The facility, located on the Old Hope Road compound of the Office of the Commissioner of Police, is manned by 30 persons, with a 90 per cent civillian and a 10 per cent police staff base.
The PNCC is government funded and has received assistance from the United Kingdom and United States governments in funding various projects.
The island’s traffic ticketing system is one of the feathers in the PNCC’s cap, with the centre having designed and implemented the system and is also instrumental in its upgrading.

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