Seychelles Police Department

Seychelles Police Department chooses the FileMaker Platform to aid fight against crime

Overview

  • A custom app built on the FileMaker Platform aids the Seychelles police force in its fight against crime.

Industry

Solutions

  • The custom app serves not only as the repository for case information, but also as a tool to help officers solve crimes.

Benefits

  • The app the Seychelles police force to manage cases from start to finish, centralizing massive amounts of critical information. It also allows for rapid detailed searches across districts - a capability that was labor intensive in the past.

The public’s image of a police force is often shaped by television clichés. They may imagine detectives plodding endlessly through hours of security footage, miraculous deductions, and brilliant levels of memory recall.

But what is the most reliable way to solve crime? While supremely gifted officers are always welcome, the key to success for most police departments tends to be more methodical.

The most efficient work is done when officers use their insight to follow a lead but reduce their reliance on memory, and let technology bear most of the data burden.

Officers need a dependable way to automate the capture of case details. They also need ways to speed up detection by spotting potential links to other cases and suspects.

A desire for this type of modern criminal case tool recently brought the police department of an Indian Ocean island nation to the FileMaker Platform.

The [new] case management system has taken the police force to another level. All the necessary information is stored and is helping our police force in fast detecting common cases through similar modus operandi.

— Marcus Jean, detective commander of Seychelles' Mont Fleurie Station
Seychelles Police Department 1

Modernizing a police force

The Seychelles Police Department wanted a custom app that would serve not only as a repository for case information, but also as a way to help solve cases. The app would replace a parallel system of manual record keeping and a database based on older technology.

To accomplish this goal, the department brought in Transmedia, a UK-based Platinum FileMaker Business Alliance (FBA) Partner.

Transmedia’s starting point for app development was digitizing the intake form for incident reports, which serve as the record of a single crime. Recording as many facts as possible before memories fade and evidence is lost is critical to effective case management.

Nick Stockbridge, Transmedia’s Director of Development, interviewed senior commanders and serving detectives to further scope the project. Members of the police force asked for as much flexibility in search as possible. For example, they wanted the ability to create unlimited categories of suspect recognition points to include age range, height, build, facial marking, hair type and complexion.

As the app was developed, police officers in different roles were given the opportunity to test it and refine requirements. The guiding principle was to build an app that could progress a case from start to finish and robust enough to be used in court

Seychelles Police Department 3

Faster crime solving with a custom app

The fully developed custom app covers every aspect of police procedure for the Seychelles Police Department. Opportunities for analysis by region and crime category are particularly welcomed by senior management. And the ability to cross-reference vehicle registration plates and mobile phone numbers is also proving useful. If a vehicle registration number is attached to a crime, then searches can be conducted to see whether the same number shows up in other incidents of criminal activity.

“The [new] case management system has taken the police force to another level,” said Marcus Jean, detective commander of Seychelles’ Mont Fleurie Station. “All the necessary information is stored and is helping our police force in fast detecting common cases through similar modus operandi.”

Jean says the custom app itself is easy to use. It can be run on desktop computers or iPad devices, and provides a central resource in which to store every piece of intelligence from every case recorded. This allows officers to quickly search crimes from other districts – a capability that would have been much more labor intensive in the past. And when criminals are repeat offenders, better data collection and sharing means more clues and faster detection.

“I have been able to give a client information from another district because all police stations are connected and we [are connected to] the whole country,” said Jean. “This app has transformed the life of the Seychelles police force.”

UN involvement

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) funded and supported the project. No longer is an unsolved case a standalone problem, disappearing from the memories of those who worked on it. Instead, old cases will be easily searchable in the future. Should patterns of similar crime occur later, they will be revealed by information stored within the crime files. In taking advantage of the FileMaker Platform’s rapid development capabilities, and its fine-tuning to the needs of the Seychelles Police Force, Transmedia and UNODC has turned the laborious task of entering the details of perpetrators and their crimes into part of the solution to those crimes.

Looking forward

With the Police Crime Detection database now bedding in at the HQ in Victoria, there has already been speculation as to further development. The government would like to see further integration with other national systems such as the Coast Guard, the Port Authority and Customs and Excise. Stockbridge agrees that there is definite potential within the application:

“I can absolutely see the case for integrating this software further into the fabric of government institutions,” said Stockbridge. “But first, I would like all of us involved to reap the rewards of hard-working officers really using and challenging the system to make sure it’s not only fit for purpose, but the best it can possibly be.”

FileMaker Business Alliance Partner Contact

Nick Stockbridge

020 8269 4260

077 5356 7706

nick@transmedia.co.uk

http://www.transmedia.co.uk/filemaker?

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Seychelles Police Department