Jamaica Constabulary Force has become the first police force in the Caribbean to deploy a customised electronic document and records management (EDRM) technology to digitally automate the management, approval and auditing of all communications data requests between police officers and service providers.
CCube Solutions' technology, called CADS, allows the officers of Jamaica's Communications Forensics and Cybercrime Unit (CFCU) to work more efficiently with data forensics. When police undertake investigations that involve telecoms data, they often need information about a particular call, specifically where the call was made from, the date and time and its duration - the call data information.
Callers essentially leave a footprint of call data in the database of their service provider. The CFCU used to have to manually submit a request to service providers to receive this information, but the CADS automates the process by having an applicant request the information, which is checked an authorised by the authorities.
In 2012, there was just over 1,000 applications - and increase of 15% on the year before - with just 400 returned. Inspector Warren Williams, head of the CFCU said: "As applications have increased, the backlog has grown. The new solution will quickly close this gap. In 2013, over 2,000 applications have been made as officers see the value of using the system as part of their investigative tool kit."
"It's all about getting telecoms data from service providers and using a formal process which stands up as scrutiny in a court of law. The system keeps all the records of how the data was obtained in such a way that it can be used in court," Vijay Magon, CCube Solutions' managing director.
Jamaican legislation is currently under review with the aspiration that information provided in CADS will be admissible in court. This means that CSP representatives will not have to physically attend court to authenticate and valid the data provided in cases as is the situation today.
Williams said: "The focus of the CADS project has been to automate this process to vastly reduce the turnaround time of applications, improve the efficiency of both the CFCU and CSP teams, and ultimately provide a better service for investigators who are using this kind of information more and more. The response will now be measured in hours and days not months with the system currently being tested to provide support in 'live' operations."
CADS has now been fully deployed and runs on a dedicated server at the JCF's Kingston headquarters. The officers in the field will connect to CADS using SSL VPN technology.
"This is very important in terms of solving crime as it is so effective at getting communications data in time to pin down people in a kidnap situation for example where they can plot the data on a map showing the movement of a car with victims on board," added Majon.
"We're not doing this for the sake of it, it does make a dramatic difference in solving crime."
Image courtesy of SkyScraper City