Justice delivery: Lagos begins data gathering on criminal suspects

• Hands over 750,000 forms to state police command

lagos state

Lagos State government on Monday commenced the process of building up data on criminal suspects to aid in gathering important intelligence that would eventually assist in tracing defendants and providing accurate bio-data to the courts during prosecution of criminal cases.

To this end, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, has handed over 750,000 criminal suspect forms to the Lagos State Police Command.

Speaking while handing over the forms, Kazeem said, the decision of government on the profiling policy was aimed at bringing about ease of justice delivery and to help in quick record keeping of criminals in the state.

Kazeem, who reiterated the commitment of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration at ensuring the preservation of law and order and provision of effective criminal justice system in the state, said the forms would be used to gather personal details of suspects, their physical attributes, information about their next of kin and previous convictions.

“With the introduction of the new forms, information about the suspects will assist in the profiling and building of important intelligence that could assist in tracing defendants and providing accurate bio-data to the courts during the prosecution of criminal cases in the state.”

“This database will hold information about previous convictions, nature and types of offences committed by convicted persons in the state. The forms will also assist the DNA database to be built on the completion of the Lagos State DNA Laboratory which can be interfaced with these collection of data and samples of DNA from suspects and convicted persons which will be warehoused in the Criminal Database that will be rolled out to the public soon,” he said.

While assuring the police command that the state government would continue to partner with the police for effective and efficient justice delivery, Kazeem said the importance of the forms cannot be over emphasized.

He said this was more so because the information of the suspects and defendants would progressively be transposed to an electronic data base which can assist in providing information on previous offending pattern of a suspect.

Besides, the AG urged police officers to adequately use the forms and record information needed when processing suspects through the Charge Room, noting that information not captured at the first opportunity might be difficult to recapture later.

He also promised that the state government would provide more copies after the initial 750,000 copies would have been exhausted.

Responding, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, who was represented by a Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Command, Bolaji Salami, thanked the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for his commitment in making the job of policing in the state more effective and efficient.