Tassie police turn up the heat with forensic databases

One state that is using technology to get an edge on the fight against crime is the Tasmanian Department of Police and Public Safety which is using a home-grown solution to analyse crime scene information.

Australian designed forensic processing technology from Promadis, which is dubbed Caseman, links criminals with DNA, drugs and other relevant information.

South Australia has already introduced the system to cope with a massive increase in data as the result of improved laboratory technologies and significant advances in DNA analysis.

Caseman provides online data using a laboratory information system and incorporates an auditing process to document and verify the handling of crime scene evidence to ensure its validity in court.

Promadis professional services manager Steve Fitzgerald said forensic laboratories handle huge amounts of data so the system has to be industrial strength, scalable and easy to integrate. This includes the ability to collate and manage evidence from numerous sources and link it back to the relevant case.

Fitzgerald said the new technology will be installed early next year and configured on an Oracle database that fits within Tasmania 's whole-of-government IT strategy.

Images and documents can also be scanned into Promadis and the company's marketing manager Peter Fulton said in-built productivity tools identify bottlenecks in the delivery of information to courts.

He said the company is set to launch overseas with interest in the technology from international law enforcement bodies.

Managing huge amounts of data from different sources is a massive challenge for law enforcement with the NSW Police introducing Livescan and Phototrac last year to build a database of finger prints and photos. It also includes surveillance tapes from banks, hotels and services stations for cross-reference matching with photos added at a rate of 80,000 per year.

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