With trials of its National Police Reference System deemed a success and national roll-out underway, CrimTrac is hailing its programs as an excellent example of inter-government cooperation.
"The successes we have already achieved show that CrimTrac is an excellent example of the Commonwealth, States and Territories working together in harnessing information sharing technology to assist in crime prevention, detection and reduction," CEO Ben McDevitt says in kicking off the first edition of a planned quarterly newsletter.
". . . our vision is to take a leadership role in generating national approaches to information sharing solutions for law-enforcement agencies, for a safer Australia."
Australia has been battling to address the inadequate interoperability of police databases for years, with the aim of achieving better sharing of and access to data across the different systems, rather than creation of a single Australia-wide database. CrimTrac was established in 2000 "to allow police forces across Australia to share information to solve crimes and catch criminals". Its central aim is to enhance Australian law enforcement with an emphasis on information-based policing facilitated through rapid access to detailed current and accurate police information.
That mandate was later expanded to encompass a national role in promoting and facilitating information sharing.
The agency now brokers a wide variety of information to assist investigations by law enforcement agencies and is responsible for finding emerging information technologies and opportunities to enhance information sharing.
The goal of police interoperability has become a high priority for governments and police forces around the world as so-called Connected Government movements gather momentum.
CrimTrac was established under an inter-governmental agreement between the Australian Government and all State and Territory police ministers to deliver four new systems to facilitate national information sharing for police. Three of these systems — a National Automated Fingerprint identification system (NAFis); a National Criminal investigation DNA Database (NCiDD); a National Child sex Offender Register (ANCOR) — are well established.
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