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POLICE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO INFO THROUGH NEW SOFTWARE

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Sun Microsystems has signed a deal with the UK government to develop computer technology that will give police offi...
Sun Microsystems has signed a deal with the UK government to develop computer technology that will give police officers instant access to official records as part of a three-year project costing£1.2bn, reported The Business (p2).

A Home Office source told the newspaper: 'The new software will allow instant access to the information contained in all the paper the government has on someone and will be used by the police to call up an instant background check on a suspect, like a kind of crime-fighting version of Google'.

According to a source at Sun's research department, it would be relatively simple to combine the new criminal justice information technology software with photo-recognition software being deployed at airports to spot terrorists or crime suspects using security cameras. A police officer need only take a digital photograph and send it through the police radio network to determine the suspect's identity and background, with or weithout his co-operation, enabling them to take appropriate action.

Initially, the software will search information held by government agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service, the courts, the correctional services and the Department of Constitutional Affairs. But the real pay-off will come with the technology's potential for 'crime modelling' - a method of mining criminal records and reports to detect patterns in criminal activity, predicting when and where specific offences are likely to occur.
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