1.1 Preliminaries

A computer based police investigation system is a system that enables the police force to utilize the computer system (hardware and software) to investigate or to find out the perpetrators of a given crime based on past criminal records, or by the examination of evidence(s) gathered from the crime scene using specialized systems. According to Nicole (2009), the methods of detection employed are dictated by the nature of the crime and the procedures permitted by the legal system. Most investigations begin with careful, objective observations that are then assembled, collated, and matched against applicable law. If there is reason to assume that a crime has indeed been committed, further investigation are undertaken using scientific methods and techniques. Technological advances have been incorporated into criminal investigation as well; for example, analyzing trace clues such as dust, paint, glass, and other microscopic evidence is now possible. Most countries all over the world make use of a crime record system that also serves as an investigation system. The system is a comprehensive database of crimes committed and it makes it very easy for the police to investigate crimes. This is possible because the database can be queried based on different criteria such as type of crime, surname of suspects etc. when a crime is committed, the law enforcement agency such as the police force use the name of suspects to match with their criminal record database so as to get the address of suspects and other related information that will facilitate questioning. In most cases a DNA database is also maintained of every individual so that blood samples and hair strands can be analyzed and matched with the database and if it exists the offender can be apprehended. However, attempting to carry out investigation without the computer system could be very hectic.

1.1 Theoretical Background

Technological advancement brings about development considering the fact that the computer system is fast and accurate. In addition, it can store large volume of information thereby eliminating the need to record information traditionally with flat files. Law enforcement agencies such as the police force has recognized the benefits of the computer system and they have adopted it to facilitate their operations such as investigation of crimes. Information that would have ordinarily required much time can be achieved in few seconds using the computer system. It is very important that computers are applied in crime investigation as it will save time and make the job faster. As an authentic measure to showcase and implement the application of computers in police investigation, this research work is carried out.

1.3 Statement of Problem

The Nigerian police force is faced with the challenge of inability to investigate case properly. At many times it is difficult to catch the suspects and also the wrong persons may be arrested because of the basis and technique adopted for investigation. On a very common note, there is no computerized criminal record system that will enable the police to confirm past criminal records, get information of suspects and also to query the records based on different criteria so as to track down offenders. The manual method adopted to investigate cases takes time and keeps cases pending and even neglected with time. Consequently, the perpetrators of the crime are not apprehended at the end of the day thereby making the police force investigation ineffective.

1.4 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to design and implement a police investigation system that can be used to capture necessary information that will aid police investigation.

1.5 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of the study;

To implement a police investigation system
To present an overview of the application of computers in police investigation.
To present the role of computer forensics in police investigation.
To present the different types of computer based police investigation systems that aid crime investigation and suspect identification
To showcase the process of a standard police investigation
To present the advantages and disadvantages of a computer based police investigation system.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study covers the design and implementation of a Police Investigation System using Nigeria Police Force, Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State as a case study. It examines all relevant areas of police investigation technology in use in the modern world such as computer forensics.

1.7 Significance of the study

The significance of the study is that it will provide a system that will aid police investigation. In addition, it will also bring to light the application of computers in police investigation. Also, the police force will find useful information in this research material that will enable them to handle the investigation of cases at an international standard that is globally acceptable.

1.8 Definition of terms

Police – a civil organization whose members are given special legal powers by the government and whose task is to maintain public order and to solve and prevent crimes

Investigation – an examination or inquiry into something, especially a detailed one that is undertaken officially, or the act of undertaking an examination.

Crime – an action prohibited by law or a failure to act as required by law

DNA – A nucleic acid molecule in the form of a twisted double strand double helix that is the major component of chromosomes and carries genetic information.

Surveilance – continual observation of a person or group, especially one suspected of doing something illegal

CCTV – Closed Circuit Television, a system used for broadcasting TV signals captured from security cameras

Forensics – is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences and technologies to investigate and establish facts of interest in relation to criminal of civil law.

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