Australian government launches new crime-fighting body


A just-created Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission merges the work of front-line agencies, CrimTrac and the Australian Crime Commission. Becomes operational 1st July.

The Australian government has moved to integrate its crime fighting and security management capabilities under the recent merger of CrimTrac and the Australian Crime Commission (ACC). From 1st July 2016, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission replaces the two agencies, as announced by the Federal Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan MP.

This new commission offers law enforcement agencies more accurate information and intelligence to respond to criminal and national security threats, Minister Keenan said.

The ACC’s current chief executive, Chris Dawson, is expected to lead the commission when this becomes fully operational on 1st July. The latest merger follows the passage of the Australian Crime Commission Amendment (National Policing Information) Bill 2015 on 4 May 2016.

CrimeTrac is the national information-sharing service for Australia’s police, law enforcement and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Earlier, this agency received additional funding from the Federal 2016-2017 budget to build its information-sharing capabilities.

The agency’s work focuses on delivering national information-sharing services that support Australia’s police in their work.  CrimTrac also manages ACORN  – an Australian first national policing initiative that tackles cybercrime.

In other news, CrimTrac has selected solutions provider NEC to provide national facial recognition and fingerprint matching capability.  This contract helps deliver a national capability for multi-modal biometric identification. NEC Australia will design Biometric Identification Services (BIS) in 2017, and will deliver ongoing management and support services for 5 years following.

Next year’s platform replaces CrimTrac’s National Automated Fingerprint Identification System. This platform offers better use of already-captured biometric data. This data incorporates existing police databases containing up to 12 million facial images and 6.7 million print sets.

The BIS project delivers a national solution for facial recognition technology. Specifically, the more advanced facial recognition technology helps identify, link and solve crimes. This platform leverages rapid identification using mobile capture devices, in a dispersed environment.

Facial recognition offers several advantages over other biometric modes. These include identification at a distance using recorded video footage and images. There are also real-time identification capabilities.