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1.1 Background of the Study

Man by nature is social, gregarious and cannot live in isolation. To maintain peace and harmony in the society, man has to fashion out conduct and some laws  to  govern  the  conduct  of  members  of  the  society.  When  people appreciate  these  codes  of  conduct  and  laws,  protection  of  lives  and properties are guaranteed.  Generally tracking is the observing of persons or objects on the move and  supplying a timely ordered sequence of respective location data to a model e.g. capable to serve for depicting the motion on a display capability.

The traditional and age-old  system of  intelligence  and  criminal  record  maintenance has failed to live up to the requirements of the existing crime  scenario.  Manual  processes  neither  provide  accurate,  reliable  and  comprehensive data round the clock nor does it help in trend prediction and  decision  support.  It also results  in  lower  productivity  and  ineffective  utilization of manpower. The solution to this ever-increasing problem lies in the effective use of Information Technology. Crime Tracking and Information System uses computer-generated records as an interface for integrating and  accessing massive amounts of location-based information.

Crime tracking system  allows  police  personnel  to  plan  effectively  for  emergency response,  determine  mitigation  priorities,  analyses  historical  events, and predict future events. Crime tracking system helps identify  potential suspects to increase investigators suspect base when no leads are  evident.  The  ability  to  access  and  process  information  quickly  while  displaying it in a spatial and visual medium allows agencies to allocate  resources quickly and more effectively. In the ‗mission-critical‘ nature of  law  enforcement,  information  about  the  location  of  a  crime,  incident,  suspect, or victim is often crucial to determine the manner and size of the response.  Crime  tracking  software  helps  co-ordinate  vast  amounts  of location-based data from multiple sources. It enables the user to layer the data and view the data most critical to the particular issue or mission. It is used world over by police departments, both large and small, to provide solutions for crime analysis, criminal tracking, traffic safety, community policing, Intranet/Internet mapping, and numerous other tasks.

Crime tracking system helps crime officers determine potential crime sites by examining complex seemingly unrelated criteria and displaying them all in an interface. It also helps them map inmate populations, fixtures, and equipment to provide for the safety of inmates by separating gang members, identifying  high-risk  or  potentially  violent  inmates,  and  identifying hazardous locations in an area. It reduces the potential for internal violence by providing better command and control. Traditionally, these activities have been supported by paper and pen. Police officers now have the ability to immediately generate crime report directly relevant to the situation at hand. Police agencies collect vast amounts of data from many sources including  called-for-services, arrests,  first  information  reports  and  daily report. The same information provides a powerful decision making tool for investigators, supervisors, and administrators.

Security is the most vital aspect of every society all over the globe irrespective of the location. Conventionally the management of records and profile is in our police stations are done manually by writing on paper, filing and categorizing the collected data and storing them in a cabinet or shelves. This method is slow and painstaking as retrieval of this data involves searching through hundreds or thousands of files to retrieve a small piece of information depending on the size of institution.

With the introduction of computers and Information System (IS), the process of collection and management of data which involved record keeping and profile management in police stations has been tremendously improved as the speed of data collecting and retrieval increased significantly thereby making data management is a major driving force in the ongoing Information Technology (IT) revolution. The records of citizens (complainant/defendant) collected serve many purposes and pass through many corporate processes. The records are so important that the police channel much resource to preserve the integrity of the records.

However, over the last few decades, there has been significant improvement in data storage, data access, data protection and data distribution where data storage was once at a high premium that a single CD-ROM can now store 500MB of data. Rumours has it next generation of CD-ROMs will store at least ten times that amount but there has been challenges in the last few years to the traditional data security and access philosophies. The lessons learnt over the years show that the continuing importance of data and the increase in citizens’ records and profile no matter how it is accessed or packaged will undoubtedly play a central role in the health and competitiveness of police in the future, (Alter, 2002).

The history of information systems coincides with the history of computer science that began long before the modern discipline of computer science emerged in the twentieth century.  Regarding the circulation of information and ideas, numerous legacy information systems still exist today that are continuously updated to promote ethnographic approaches, to ensure data integrity, and to improve the social effectiveness and efficiency of the whole process.

Before the concept of information systems was created, computer scientists were just programmers creating applications for science and math calculations. As computer usage evolved in fields of business and data management, software applications were needed to process nonscientific data. 

2.1 Statement of the Problem

The Nigerian Police, which is used as a case study, has an existing criminal Tracking System, but this system is not automated. The documentation of criminal records is done on paper and pen. The storage of these criminal records is not something to write home about.

Case files are dumped in heaps while some are kept on shelves. With the  moldy nature of the state such important documents quickly get dusty and  because of lack of proper storage, some criminal documents are seriously  damaged by rats that feed on them. With this kind of situation, it becomes  highly difficult if not impossible to track down known criminal, access past  criminal history of a suspect and know the status of some concluded cases.

Various problems are encountered in the manual system of operations in any organization, so it is in the web based crime record and information system. Some of the problems encountered are:

i. Generating a crime filing number for each of the crime has been cumbersome because it is not easy to trace the file number of the last recorded crime and this has led to duplication crime File Numbers.

ii. Accuracy about dates of filling various components of the crime is not readily available making referencing them very cumbersome.

iii. Making references to existing Criminal cases is difficult because of the manual mode of documentation.

1.3 Aim and Objective of the Study

The main and objective of this study is to Design and development of a crime tracking and information system, a case study of the Nigeria Police.

The specific objective are:

1) Design and develop a central database system that would serve as statewide repository of criminal data. The smaller database system         at the sub-police station will be networked to the central database to access criminal data on cases not handled at the local station. This database system will be updated by local police station within the state as well as the police headquarters. (acting as a criminal data collection centers)

2)      The central database system will be resident on a server at the police headquarter and will be linked to both the local police station  and  the  Central  Criminal  Registry  via  a  client-  server between  station  as  well  as  Criminal  Justice,  the  rendering  of Criminal Justice.

3)      The database system will capture detailed information about crime suspect right from the time the crime was reported at the police down  to  the  point  the  suspect  appears  before  the  court  for prosecution as thereafter.

4) The systems will possess features that will enable criminal data to

5) Be purged from the system, updated and queried.

1.4 Justification of the Study

Implementation of a crime information system by the Nigerian police will help the police and the masses to get useful information on individuals with crime records. The system developed will among other things:

1.       Maintain a database of all crime records

2.       Enable a quick search on the database to retrieve crime    information

3.       Enable Nigerian police to track previous crimes committed by   a suspect

4.       Make crime control easier for the police

1.5 Scope of the Study

Basically any Criminal Tracking System as an integral part of the Criminal Justice Information System consists of three major sections, that is:

a)       The Criminal Identification Division

b)      The Magistrate Segment, and

c)       The prisons.

However, because of lack of time, funding and the scope of the system, the project was limited to the development and implementation of software – based criminal tracking information system that will automate the processes involved in tracking down criminals by the Nigerian Police.

1.6 Limitation of the Study

Usually, every work has some limitations and this study is not exempted.

The two major limitations of this study are the high programming technique as well as financial constraints. The high programming technique constraint in PHP, JQUERY and MYSQL prevents the researcher to have an in depth study and analysis on the subject matter. While the issue of financial constraint limits the frequency of investigation to/from the institution toward gathering the necessary information relevant for the study. And also Due to time and financial constraint, I was unable to visit few of the police stations in Nigeria to gather information on the existing crime information system. Few police stations were visited and the information gathered from the officers in charge forms the basis for the design of the new system.

The project did not cover the Prison and the Magistrate Segment, which could also be automated.

1.7 Definition of the Study

Crime:  A  normative  definition  views  crime  as  deviant  behavior  that violates  prevailing  norms –  cultural  standards  prescribing  how  humans ought to behave normally

Criminalization: One can view criminalization as a procedure deployed by society as  a  pre-emptive,  harm-reduction  device,  using  the  threat  of punishment as a deterrent to anyone proposing to engage in the behavior causing harm.

FIIB: Federal Investigation and Intelligence Bureau

IGP: Inspector General of Police

DIG: Deputy Inspector General

FCID:  Force  Criminal  Investigation  Department  (FCID)  is  the  highest investigation arm of the Nigeria Police NPF.

HTML CODE: – HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a type of computer language that is primarily used for files that are posted on the internet and viewed by web browsers. HTML files can also be sent via email.

Markup language: – A markup language is a combination of words and symbols which give instructions on how a document should appear. For example, a tag may indicate that words are written in italics or bold type.

Web browser: -A Web browser is a software program that interprets the coding language of the World Wide Web in graphic form, displaying the translation rather than the coding. This allows anyone to “browse the Web” by simple point and click navigation, bypassing the need to know commands used in software languages.

File extension: – A file extension is the suffix at the end of a filename that tells a computer, and the computer user, which program is needed to open the file. Also called a filename extension, this suffix preceded by at least one period, is generally one to five characters long but the norm is usually three characters in length.

Email: – Email, also sometimes written as e-mail, is simply the shortened form of electronic mail, a protocol for receiving, sending, and storing electronic messages. Email has gained popularity with the spread of the Internet. In many cases, email has become the preferred method of communication.

TCP/IP: – This often used but little understood set of operations stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. TCP/IP is the combination of the two and describes the set of protocols that allows hosts to connect to the Internet. In actuality, TCP/IP is a combination of “more than those two protocols, but the TCP and IP parts of TCP/IP are the main ones and the only ones to become part of the acronymthat describes the operations involved.

TEXT FILE: – A text file is a computerfile that stores a typed document as a series of alphanumeric characters, usually without visual formatting information. The content may be a personal note or list, a journal or newspaper article, a book, or any other text that can be rendered accurately in typewritten form.

Hyper Link:-A hyperlink is a graphic or a piece of text in an Internet document that can connect readers to another webpage, or another portion of a document. Web users will usually find at least one hyperlink on every webpage. The simplest form of these is called embedded text or an embedded link.

WWW: – acronym for World Wide Web.

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