Posts Tagged ‘ Law Enforcement ’

Operation Phoenix.

THE world’s first online murder database will make it easier for cops to snare serial killers such as Peter Tobin.

Operation Phoenix goes live today across the Strathclyde Police force area.

And it is hoped the web-based system, which identifies patterns and trends, will be rolled out across Scotland next year.

Phoenix has been four years in the making and was developed for just £32,500 by Scotland’s biggest police force and the national Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

To date, 2277 murders are on the database, dating back to 1940, as well as scores of long-term missing persons.

The Record was the first paper to be briefed on technology that has the potential to revolutionise the investigation of both cold and live cases.

Strathclyde Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Field said: “From an investigative perspective we think we have got something here that is pretty unique.

“As part of the development of Phoenix, we have already identified murders where there are fresh lines of inquiry or opportunity.”

Field, who chaired the working group which created the virtual reference library, would not be drawn on cases where a breakthrough could be imminent. But he said the technology could prove invaluable in hunting down monsters such as Peter Tobin, who committed murders in Glasgow, Bathgate and Kent.

Asked if Tobin could have been caught sooner if Phoenix had been operational, Field said: “Although the system will never actually physically identify an individual as a suspect it will assist in quick identification of links with previous detected and unresolved cases.

“This will identify quickly any possible suspects.”

The top cop added: “It’s about creating a legacy and learning from our investigations.”

Phoenix was inspired by Operation Trinity, a homicide database developed to examine links between a series of unsolved murders from the 1970s, including the World’s End case.

It involved the compilation of data on every female murder in Scotland since 1965.

Since 2008 a dedicated team of Phoenix analysts have created dossiers on 2277 murders.

While all unresolved murders will be fed into the database, details of resolved cases – around 1200 – have only been recorded back to 1995.

Field said Phoenix will save a massive amount of police time and resources.

He said: “If you pick out a murder that is 20 years old and find out who actually worked on it, that will take a month.

“To get that small amount of information there you would probably have to search police officer’s lofts and garages.”

Karyn McCluskey, deputy head of the VRU, said: “For Trinity they had to invite old detectives in to tell war stories because there was nothing written down. That’s why Phoenix is so unique.

“It is cutting edge and it is designed to get an outcome for victims’ families.”

Ms McCluskey said it is also an invaluable tool for crime prevention in that it can be used to identify trends.

She added: “No murder is ever forgotten.

“If you have got a 70-year-old out there who has committed a murder 50 years ago on a 20-yearold female then it is still live and people are still looking.

“The victims are always remembered. The 2277 murders is not a statistic Scotland should be proud of. We must learn from it and do better in future.”

VRU analyst Maighread Townsend said the database includes a complete overview of a crime, with everything from scene pics and CCTV footage to post mortem reports and behavioural information for the victim and offender.

The old database had 48 fields but Phoenix has 358 – and rising.

Maighread said the “golden section” of the database is the action log which contains details of all the decisions – good and bad – taken during the course of the investigation.

Cops can also use mapping software to chart the previous addresses of a suspect and undetected crimes which have occurred nearby.

Officers can then explore coincidences in dates and descriptions.

After every case has concluded full debrief must be held within 28 days to allow key aspects of the inquiry to be preserved while they are still fresh in the minds of those who worked on the case.

Detective Inspector Pat Campbell said the debriefs take the form of an “honest debate” and allow for both best practice and mistakes to be recorded for all posterity.

And since 2009 Strathclyde Police have held 75.

They aim to ensure priceless expertise is not lost when senior officers retire but rather is preserved for future generations of detectives.

Field said: “The loneliest place on the planet is when you are the senior officer in a murder. Phoenix is about giving you support and a virtual critical friend.” Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House said: “The message is a simple one.

“We will catch you and you will be brought to justice.”

Full Article


I am excited to see how this goes. If it does work as well as they are stating this could be a great asset for law enforcement world wide.

In the Line of Duty 48 Officers Made Ultimate Sacrifice

An assistant police chief with 27 years of law enforcement experience was shot and killed on an Arkansas highway after stopping a suspected stolen vehicle.

A 30-year-old U.S. Border Patrol agent was shot multiple times while on patrol near San Diego.

A patrol officer in Pennsylvania awaiting backup was ambushed in his police cruiser after responding to a 9-1-1 call.

These three officers, who paid the ultimate price for their desire to serve and protect the public, are just three of the 48 law enforcement officers from around the nation who lost their lives in the line of duty during 2009.

You can read more about the sacrifices made by these brave men and women in the just-released Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2009, an annual reminder of the dangers of policing.

Of the 48 officers killed in the line of duty last year:

… Fifteen were ambushed;
… Eight were involved in arrest situations;
… Eight were performing traffic pursuits or stops;
… Six were answering disturbance calls;
… Five were involved in tactical situations (like high-risk entries);
… Four were investigating suspicious persons or activities; and
… Two were handling, transporting, or maintaining custody of prisoners.

Here’s at look at some of the other data collected on officers killed in the line of duty:

More officers (eight) died from assaults occurring in April.
More officers (13) died from assaults occurring on a Saturday.
More officers (13) died between 8:01 p.m. and midnight than in any other time period.
The average age of victim officers was 38.
The average number of years of law enforcement experience was 12.
Forty-five of the victims were killed with firearms, and three were killed by vehicles used as weapons.
Of the 41 alleged assailants identified in connection with the 48 deaths, 33 had prior criminal arrests.
The report also provides information regarding accidental line-of-duty deaths:

During 2009, the nation lost 47 additional officers to accidents while they were performing their duties.
Thirty-four of these officers died as a result of automobile accidents.
Other officers were killed by vehicles while executing traffic stops or roadblocks, directing traffic, or assisting motorists; in motorcycle accidents; or by crossfire or other firearm mishaps.
Also contained in the report are statistics on assaults on officers:

A total of 57,268 officers were assaulted during 2009.
Of the officers assaulted, the largest percentage (32.6) was responding to disturbance calls (such as family quarrels or bar fights).
The largest percentage of assaults (16.0) took place from 12:01 to 2 a.m., while the lowest percentage of assaults (2.4) took place from 6:01 to 8 a.m.
A total of 61.9 percent of officers assaulted were patrol personnel working alone, while 18.9 percent of the officers assaulted were working in pairs.
Why do we collect and publish this information yearly? In addition to calling attention to these heroic individuals, we hope that the details in this report will be used by law enforcement managers and civic leaders to improve safety strategies and training for those officers who put their lives on the line for us all each and every day.

– Press release
– Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2009
– Criminal Justice Information Services


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