Police IT to target and fast-track persistent crooks

A major upgrade to the Police National Computer (PNC) is to be used as part of a Home Office drive to target the persistent...

A major upgrade to the Police National Computer (PNC) is to be used as part of a Home Office drive to target the persistent offenders who commit most crime.

The project, announced last week by Lord Falconer, will collate police intelligence on the most prolific criminals and use the PNC to circulate it.

Under the scheme, which is due to start in February 2003, adult criminals who have been convicted of six or more recordable offences in the past 12 months, or are otherwise identified as persistent offenders, will be targeted.

A new tool on the PNC will identify these offenders - mainly thieves, burglars and those responsible for violent crimes and criminal damage.

They will be flagged up on the PNC and local commanders will receive regular lists of persistent offenders in their area.

The criminals will then be tracked by the police and Crown Prosecution Service using a Web-based system called JTrack.

Part of the Government's "Narrowing the Justice Gap'' initiative, the information will be used in conjunction with local intelligence systems and the National Intelligence Model to identify and prioritise persistent offenders in each area.

When caught they will be fast-tracked through the criminal justice system.

Falconer said, "Home Office research shows that 100,000 criminals are responsible for half of all recorded crime and increasing the frequency of an offender being caught and convicted is the most effective single way of shortening their criminal career.''

The new tracking system will be introduced in police stations and Crown Prosecution Service offices to facilitate work under the Persistent Offender Scheme.

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