'CRIMES' database to go online Oct 1

'CRIMES' database to go online Oct 1

Pool integrates files from police, prosecution and court

The court, prosecution and police will soon be linked by a single online database which helps ensure accuracy and improve efficiency in legal proceedings, according to the Office of the Court of Justice (OCJ).

The database, called CRIMES, is set to be operational on Oct 1, said OCJ secretary-general Sarawut Benjakul.

The court, prosecution and police signed a memorandum of understanding to access the single data pool on Monday. 

CRIMES pools logs of legal cases currently handled by the three agencies.

Police database primarily contains information relating to criminal and civil complaints filed with 1,482 police stations, the prosecution has its own National Single Window (NSW) system, while the court has its own system of logging cases. 

"Harmonising the three database in a single pool will cut redtape, speed up investigation, and improve the accuracy of information used in trials," said Mr Sarawut. 

Mr Sarawut said that once CRIMES is up and running, criminal and civil investigations logged by the police will automatically become visible to prosecutors.

"If and when the courts confirm an indictment, judges will have at their disposal the complete details of the police's investigation, as well as the prosecutors' decisions," he said.

"The beauty of the system is that it helps ensure trials can be wrapped up promptly, especially in cases involving less serious offences."

Cherdsak Hirunsirisombat, deputy Attorney-General, said that while the prosecution's current database has allowed them to ensure speedy and accurate legal proceedings, CRIMES will allow prosecutors to access a vast, real-time archive of criminals' backgrounds — information which the court needs to know before deciding the punishments for repeated offenders

"Information it contains was also useful for compiling important statistics in legal cases," he said.

With CRIMES, he said, prosecutors will, for example, be able tally up the top-10 provinces with the most incidence of a particular crime, such as murder in real time.

"People can also access the database to see what kinds of crime have taken place in their provinces," said Mr Cherdsak, who called the system "a crucial turning point" for the justice process. 

"The justice system has managed to come this far, thanks to the court and the police," he said. 

Royal Thai Police (RTP) spokesman Piya Uthayo said it was a pleasure to see that the police, prosecution and court are now cooperating through the linked-up database.

"CRIMES will be the backbone for RTP's investigations," he said. 

The system is also equipped with a tracking feature, where prosecutors can trace what investigation details police have compiled, erased and/or edited. 

In the future, other government agencies will be invited to integrate their database with CRIMES, such as such as the Corrections Department, the Labour Ministry and the Social Security Fund.

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