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New crime data centre to help in fight against crime

By Cyrus Ombati | February 14th 2018
Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) George Kinoti (left), during a swearing in ceremony at the Supreme Court on 19th January 2017. [Photo by Wilberforce Okwiri/Standard]

Starting April, you are likely to find out the identities of notorious criminals in the country.

This will be made possible by a new data centre being established at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters.

Officials say the facility, to be referred to as Crime Intelligence Centre, will be key in fighting crime in the country. It will act as a referral point for both security agencies and the public in fighting and identifying criminals.

George Kinoti, the DCI boss, said the centre would provide data for access through a portal. The centre will be connected to all police divisions in the country and help to manage crime, he said.

“We will have data on all wanted persons. The facility will act as an engine for the department. We will profile suspects and put them where they belong,” said Mr Kinoti.

He said the portal would be segmented based on the category of crimes as well as modes of operation of various criminals and gangs in the country.

Identified terrorists

Sections on the portal will include identified terrorists, robbers, conmen, burglars, land brokers, land thieves, rapists, members of criminal gangs, paedophiles, smugglers, human traffickers, serial killers and drug dealers.

Bandits, carjackers, thieves, forgers and other fraudsters will also feature on the portal.

“This tool will give the public a heads-up and by extension prevent them from falling prey to criminals. We will seek warrants to declare the persons wanted,” Kinoti said, adding that the centre would be open to the media to enhance public education as a way of preventing crime.

It will also be useful to detectives as they will be able to map out common crimes and address them accordingly.

“Officers based at the centre will be able to check on the trend of a certain crime. Those on the ground will be required to state any challenges they may be facing in dealing with a certain form of criminal activity," Kinoti said.

The team of officers to be deployed at the centre will be equipped with the latest technology to ease the tracking down of wanted criminals.

"There is no way a criminal will go missing once they have committed an offence. Let them know their days are numbered," Kinoti said.

The centre will be set up a month before the planned commissioning of a forensic laboratory already under construction at DCI headquarters.

Civil works at the lab will be completed in March before the multi-billion-shilling centre is installed. The lab was expected to be ready in the 1990s.

Remain unresolved

Crimes remain unresolved because police lack a laboratory to help address some of these cases.

Local police often rely on foreign laboratories to conduct tests for evidence. For instance, toxicology tests are done either in South Africa or Europe.

A strategic plan launched recently shows the DCI will spend Sh7.6 billion to operationalise the laboratory. The strategic plan notes a forensic lab is key in solving crimes.

The directorate plans to spend Sh14.2 million on training and developing specialised investigative capacity, Sh1.6 billion on completing the forensic laboratory and Sh4 billion on equipping it. At least Sh2 billion will be used on devolving forensic services to the counties and sub-counties.

The funds are part of the Sh38.5 billion DCI has set aside to revamp its operations in the next three years.

The 2015-2020 plan says focus will be on four main areas including building institutional capacity, strengthening crime management, co-operating locally and internationally, and establishing robust processes and systems.

At least Sh4 billion will be used to acquire modern security equipment and ICT solutions. Development of the DCI website and Internet services will require Sh22 million.

A unified communication system, command and control centre at the inspectorate will take another Sh20 million.

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