Monday 19 April 2021

Police face checks on computer system searches to stamp out leaks


The national police force is planning to introduce new software to better monitor what files police officers are accessing in an effort to stamp out leaks, particularly to criminal gangs.

The software will ‘detect noteworthy search behaviour at an early stage,’ the NRC reported. The system has been tested in Amsterdam for the past 18 months and will be rolled out nationwide next spring. In total, it will monitor the search patterns of all 65,000 police officers.

The programme will check if people are searching in appropriate areas, a spokesman told the paper. It will note, for example, ‘if someone is looking up their daughter’s new boyfriend or a celebrity’s criminal record.’ Cases such as these will be reported, the spokesman said.

The plan still has to be formally approved by the police works council.

Police unions, however, have raised questions about the system. Jan Struijs, chairman of the biggest police union NPB, said the new software raised a lot of questions about trust.

‘Who will be monitoring and what are atypical signs,’ he said in comments to broadcaster NOS. ‘And what does this mean for detectives who are investigating major crimes. Who is looking at the files with them?’

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