Jamaica takes lead in data management

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has become the first police force in the Caribbean to use the latest data management technology to automate data requests from communication service providers.

Feb 12, 2014
By Paul Jacques
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The JCF has deployed a customised version of CCube Solutions’ electronic document and records management (EDRM) and eForms technologies – CADS (communications automated database system) – to digitally automate the management, approval and auditing of all communications data requests between police officers and service providers. This kind of forensics information is now used extensively in a broad range of criminal investigations.

Founded in 1946, JCF is the national police force of Jamaica employing more than 10,000 police officers who serve a population of around 2.8 million covering some 4,240sq m.

The Communications Forensics and Cybercrime Unit (CFCU) – created through the merger of the Cybercrime unit, Communications Intelligence Unit and the Digital Forensics Unit – went live in December 2010 and currently has a staff of SPoC (singe point of contact) officers who manage communications data requests between the JCF, two other auxiliary police forces and independent investigators on the island and Jamaica’s three main communications service providers (CSPs) – Digicel, Flow and Lime – that provide landline, internet and mobile phone connectivity.

Historically, the process of making requests for information, managing applications, getting a response from CSPs, analysing the data and providing this to investigators in the field could take months as it was all done manually.

Inspector Warren Williams, head of the JCF’s CFCU, explained: “The focus of the CADS project has been to automate this process to vastly reduce the turnaround time of applications, improve the efficiency of both the CFCU and CSP teams, and ultimately provide a better service for investigators who are using this kind of information more and more. The response will now be measured in hours and days not months with the system currently being tested to provide support in ‘live’ operations.”

In 2012, there was just over 1,000 applications – an increase of 15 per cent on the previous year – with just 400 returned.

Insp Williams added: “As applications have increased, the backlog has grown. The new solution will quickly close this gap. In 2013, more than 2,000 applications have been made as officers see the value of using the system as part of their investigative tool kit.”

The JCF team reviewed the market and travelled to the UK to meet officials at the Metropolitan Police Service which uses a similar award-winning system – also developed by CCube Solutions – called TIMS

(Telecommunications Intelligence Management System). Based on this, CCube Solutions was selected for the project because it met JCF’s needs.

Vijay Magon, CCube Solutions’ managing director, said: “Developed about eight years ago, TIMS was the first system of its kind in the UK. Capitalising on its extensive workflow capabilities, TIMS is used to make, track and report on all communication data requests from operators in line with Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) legislation which protects an individual’s humans rights. The JCF system is a variation of this and meets guidelines in Jamaica’s Interception of Communications Act.”

The JCF is currently in the process of doubling its CFCU team. Telecommunication liaison officers will be appointed across the island to manage inputting requests into the system from other investigators.

CADS has now been fully deployed and runs on a dedicated server at the JCF’s Kingston headquarters. The officers in the field will connect to CADS using secure socket layer (SSL) virtual private network (VPN) technology.

“We understand that Jamaica is the first country in the Caribbean to use this type of system and we could certainly act as a hub for the region when it comes to managing requests from other islands, given some service providers like Digicel operate throughout,” said Insp Williams.

If Jamaican legislation is amended, the aspiration is that information provided in CADS will be admissible in court. This means that CSP representatives will not have to physically attend court to authent

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