How Do the Police Use Databases?

Police use databases to store information about suspects, criminals, court cases and other details about the specific police department. A database helps an investigating officer tell if a suspect has been convicted in the past. In addition, an officer in command can record duties assigned to junior officers.

Unlike traditional filing systems, a computer database can store limitless files. Similarly, records are more secure since traditional files can be lost, altered or destroyed by fire. Police officers use databases to compile details of each crime reported. This way, they can still access details of a crime committed decades ago. This makes police reports comprehensive and factual. In developed countries, police authorities have well-developed systems of databases.

In the United States, for example, the National Information Crime Center is a system that keeps track of crimes such as sex offences, terrorism, traffic offenders, foreign fugitives, criminal gangs and parole matters. In the United Kingdom, the Police National Computer is a networked system of databases that helps to locate, pursue, arrest and prosecute criminals. Police officers, detectives and other crime prevention officials can use the information contained in these reports to identify criminal trends. In addition, other state organs, such as immigration departments, vehicle registries and driving license authorities, can access the information.