Government-Collected Data under Fire

A debate over data retention is taking place in Australia now. The government wants more control over what data it can collect and store from its citizens, and the people want more evidence that their information is being handled carefully and that it is being used for legitimate purposes. The CIA’s chief information security officer, David Greer has laid out some suggestions for governmentslooking to offer their citizens peace of mind on these matters.

Data Shelf Life

One of the major points Greer raised is that citizens want to know that their information, once used, is being deleted. As of now, they have no way of knowing how long the government is keeping their information or for how long they have been collecting it. Gathering personal information over a long period of time givesanyone the ability to make a very intimate picture of a person’s private life. But if that information is able to be deleted ina way that citizens can bemade aware of, it could give them some peace of mind about spying technique.

One way to do this may be to use a time sensitive key. Once the time is up, that key deletes the information automatically.  A copy of the key can be given to citizens so they will know when their information is no longer being held.

Safeguarding Programs

Another concern being raised is how safe using the Internet or any software program really is. Many of them come with or develop flaws, and these can be used by unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of people and steal their information. These are programs that are on people’s computer, and they contain many loopholes that can be used by hackers to access private information.

People want to know that they can trust the information they are accessing and the programs they are using. They would not hire a bathroom renovator if they knew he might take pictures of their home and rifle through their belongings. People want their bathroom renovations to be done by someone they can trust. Similarly, they want to know that the programs they are using are safe as well.

images1One suggestion being made by Greer isthat the government should buy up any bugs that are found on public programs. Then the government can fix these themselves ormake the manufacturers aware of the faults. This allows the public to do a lot of the field testing for themselves. And it deters them from keeping and exploiting bugs for themselves.

While the information the government gleans from the public is often used to solve crimes, it can be appropriated by other parties with some work. If the public feels safer about how that information is being handled, they are more likely to give it up willingly.…

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Helping Police Solve Crimes

Civilians can play a large part in helping police to solve the criminal cases they deal with every day. In fact, without the help of ordinary citizens, many crimes would go unsolved. But in order to be of the most assistance, you have to know what to do when you witness a crime or are a victim of a crime.

Don’t Clean the Scene

If your home has been invaded or someone attempted to hijack your car, you should leave everything as it is until the police arrive. You might be tempted to clean up the mess to return a semblance of normalcy to your life, but you could help the criminal escape if you do that.

Do not try to vacuum up debris, as you could get rid of essential evidence. Robot vacuum cleaners can get rid of hair particles and other bits of DNA that could be useful in determining who the criminal is.

You should not pick up broken glass or wipe up blood either. The police need to be able to verify your account and piece the scene of the crime back together. They cannot do that if you have moved anything around.

Report Immediately

As soon as you witness a crime or are affected by a crime, you should report it to the authorities. If you act fast, you will increase the chances that the criminal will be caught and the crime will be solved. Evidence can start to become less useful over time. And giving the perpetrator any time to escape or hide evidence can be detrimental to a just resolution.

Even though you may be frightened or may not want to discuss the occurrence with other people, it is necessary to talk to the police as soon as the crime occurs.

images1Anything Helps

Even if the crime did not happen to you, you should still report suspicious activity and any disturbances you notice. Your report could corroborate evidence or back up the account of an innocent person. Police rely on the evidence brought forth by civilians as much as they do their own investigations. You could be a key part of solving a crime and ensuring that a criminal does not terrorize other people.

Community actions and participation in solving crime helps to strengthen the community. And it lets criminal know that they are not welcome in the area and that their actions will be reported. This can keep criminals out of your area and make it a safer place for everyone.


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Solving Crimes Requires Quick Action

Crimes happen unexpectedly, which makes them hard to react to properly in time. If you witness a crime, you may be overwhelmed or distraught by what you saw, and you may not react in the proper way in a timely manner.

Now you should know that the longer you wait to report crime, the less chance there will be that it will be solved or that the criminal will be brought to justice. And the longer a crime goes unsolved, the less likely it is that it will ever be solved.

As crimes gestate, the clues and the trails that are left start to dry up. The more time a criminal has to flee or to escape un-followed, the more likely they are to be able to cover up their tracks completely and to get rid of vital evidence. If criminals know they are being followed, they are more likely to make foolish mistakes and to slip up.

images1If you notice a crime occurring, then you need to report it immediately. And you also need to go in person to the police to give them all the details. If you don’t have a vehicle of your own and public transport is not available in your area or at that time, then you might try using a chauffeured car. The restful ride will give you time to concentrate on getting the facts straight and ensuring you can present a clear picture to the police. Using a chauffeured car allows you to not worry about where you are going. You can concentrate on recalling information instead of trying to drive.

Your input into a criminal case could be the missing piece that is necessary to solve it. Even if the crime doesn’t involve you directly, if criminals are allowed to escape, they could come to cause you trouble later. It would be better to report the crime and have one less criminal out there roaming around and creating disorder.…

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An Unusual Crime Solving Method

Police use any method they can to catch the criminals that elude them. Some of these means are unorthodox. But they are hunting people who don’t want to be caught, and they have to use any means at their disposal to solve the crimes they deal with.

One such recent case involved using the blood found inside a leech to determine the perpetrator of a robbery. In Tasmania, an elderly woman was robbed by two criminals. They tied her up, attacked her with sticks and stole over $500 in valuables.

When police arrived, they found no clues to the identity of the attackers beyond an engorged leech on the floor. The police checked themselves and the woman to see if there were any signs of leech bites, and there were not. The DNA in the blood the leech had consumed was tested back at police laboratories.

It was put on file for later use and the case was shelved pending further leads.

Months later, Peter Cannon was picked up by police due to a drug-related offense. His DNA was collected and filed, as per the standard procedures of the Australian police department. The DNA was matched to what was collected from the leech.

The case was reopened and Cannon pleaded guilty to the robbery. Solving a crime based on DNA found in a leech was a first not only for the Australian justice system, but also for the world as well.

images1The unlikely series of events that had to have transpired for this to happen were highly unusual. The robbers had to have traveled through the woods, where tree services had not cleared. Had this area been cleared by tree service professionals, the events would likely not have occurred. The robbers also had to brush against the leech and leave the leech at the scene of the crime after it had extracted blood from one of them.

As fortuitous as all of this was in helping to catch the criminal, it is possible that it will never happen again.…

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Citizens Stopping Crime with Crime Stoppers

The Australian Federal Police cannot solve every crime on their own. They actually rely on the reports and calls of those in vicinity of the crime to supply them with the information they need to make arrests and dispense justice. To that end, they have established the Crime Stoppers initiative. This enables citizens to report crimes as they are witnessed and provide the police with valuable information.


Incentivizing Participants

While many people would happily report crimes they witness for the morality of it alone,others need a little more help making the decisions. That’s why the police have issued a $1,000 reward for many citizens that step forward and provide assistance in solving crimes. This sum is not guaranteed to everyone who calls the police with a tip, but it is paid out to those who have offered help that leads to arrests.

Some peopleare afraid of the repercussions of telling on theirneighbours or friends. But when they realize the kind of money that may be at stake, they are more willing to involve thepolice. And the police understand that it is necessary to ensure justice for those who have been wronged.

Creating a Preventative Measure

Crime Stoppers is about more than just solving crimes after they happen. It is also a way to prevent crimes before they occur.
It’s the same way some people take a dietary supplement like Garcinia before they become so overweight that it cannot help them. In order to work properly, Garcinia needs some help from dieting and exercise, otherwise, people are not really losing wait, they are just keeping off the addition of more weight.

Crime Stoppers works by keeping would-be criminals in fear of reprisal. They know their neighbours are incentivized by the cash reward, and that can make them reluctant to commit crimes in the first place. The police are counting on this suspicion and fear to keep crime rates low and to keep their citizens safe. The police cannot be everywhere stopping every crime, and they need the would-be criminals to fear more than just the police force when they are about to commit a crime.…

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DNA Is Increasingly Important to Police Investigations

South Australia’s police database now holds over 100,000 DNA records. And these have proven to be increasingly helpful in solving numerous crimes. How helpful are these DNA records?

DNA has come in handy for nearly 60 percent of investigations that led to an arrest or an official report in 2013. When the DNA records were first established in the area, they assisted in a fraction of cases. Their widespread use is a testament to their effectiveness and to the extensive catalogue of DNA records so far collected.

Southern Australia’s DNA database began back in 2009, and the DNA samples were typically collected by swabbing a person’s mouth. The DNA sample is often combine with a fingerprint scan to help match people more closely. Police have begun to take portable fingerprint scanners with them on their patrols, helping add to the fingerprint database substantially.

These DNA collection techniques have proven to be very valuable for the police in the area. They can link people to crimes with a higher degree of certainty, and they can help police process criminal cases much quicker. It cuts down the need for extensive investigations and generally speeds up the process of justice.

DNA has also proven to be useful in solving cold case files, some even as old as several decades. Criminal cases that were considered lost causes have been able to be reopened and solved allowing for justice to be administered and for citizens to have peace of mind.

This type of technology is proving to be very helpful to police all over Australia, and like solar power, it is simply a beneficial advance of the way businesses done. Like solar power, the technology has also gotten more precise and less expensive, making it easier to rely on and more beneficial from a budgetary viewpoint.…

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Citizens Solve Crimes

The police can do a lot to keep the criminals behind bars and make sure crimes are solved, but they often look to the citizens for help as well. If everyone is staying alert and reporting what they see to the police, then it will make a safer environment for everyone to live in. And perhaps it will make criminals think twice before they commit a crime.

Staying Alert

Police count on civilians to provide them with valuable information regarding crimes. You may have witnessed a robbery or a break in and not even known that was what you were looking at. But by being observant and paying attention to your surroundings, you can help the police in many subtle ways.

Many people are so focused on their own lives that they don’t notice the things that are going on around them. But you should be aware not only for your own safety, but for others’ as well.

Keep track of what is happening close to you as you travel to work or school. Take note of your surroundings so that you can better notice when something is amiss. For example, if you walk by a business every day that closes at a certain time, but you see flashlight beams inside after it is closed, then you should be aware that a break in may be occurring.

Remember not to take action against the criminals yourself. You could be injured or contaminate the crime scene or interfere with police work. Just get to a safe location and alert the authorities.

Report Suspicious Activity

It’s not enough to just notice criminal activity; you should inform the police about it as well. You can’t always wait for the police to come to you, because they may not know you were a witness. If you see something suspicious that you believe to be criminal activity, let the police know. They may already be on the case and just need the extra help you give them to solve the crime.

Be specific in your reports to the police. They will likely ask you very specific questions, but be sure to give them the exact time you noticed the suspicious activity and what about it made it suspicious in the first place.

Many civilian reports have led to criminal arrests and have made the streets safer for everybody. By doing your part, you can rest easier about the security of your home. You won’t have to worry so much about criminals breaking into your garage doors and interfering with your vehicle if you are helping to keep them off the streets.

Citizens who take action save lives and protect the livelihoods of those around them. And police count on civilian assistance to help them solve crimes.…

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