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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 22, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Tuesday, May 22, 1973 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 33 RCMP to continue to get their man-with help of a computer By STEPHEN SCOTT OTTAWA (CP) A put feeling by a cop plus a little help from a friendly Ottawa- based data bank can spell in- stant trouble for a criminal in Canada. It has happened and pre- sumably it will continue to happen as the RCMP goes electronic. Since last July the RCMP has been operating the Cana- dian Police Information put, a data bank of wanted cars and criminals. The idea is for police forces .TJOSS the country to have, virtually at their fingertips, information needed to help them at their work. At present there are 250 "termin- als" between here and Van- couver where police can plug into the central computer net- work. The system is being ex- tended into the Maritimes in May and by 1974 there will be some 800 of these terminals across (he country. The results of this electronic information saving can be starting. Take the case of an Ontario Provincial Police man who saw a car with a California licence plate parked in a motel last November. WANTED FOR MURDER He called his office on his car radio. The office put the licence number into the data system. The data centre passed it on to the FBI. The FBI said the car was stolen and the driver probably was wanted for murder in California. An arrest was made. Or take the gut feeling of an RCMP constable in British Columbia who saw a car driv- ing past with five persons. Checks were made through the system and it turned out that the car and all five per- IS LIVING IT OP? Not by a longshot, says Canadian Open golf champion Gay Brewer. In Weekend Magazine this Saturday he tells Andy O'Brien why a year is only enough to break even, and why being a pro golfer is very demanding. IN YOUR LETHBRIDGE HERALD WEEKEND MAGAZINE sons were wanted by police. The centre is part of a broad information system available from the centenni- al-celebrating RCMP on a na- tional basis. The information covers criminal records, records of arrests, finger- prints and scientific services. The services are available to police forces and are part of the over-all national re- sponsibility of the RCMP. Other areas of national con- cern of the police force are narcotics, fraud and national security. STARTED IN 1911 These concerns are above the contracted-for provincial and sometimes municipal po- lice work in all provinces but Ontario and Quebec. The RCMP, or its predeces- sor as a national police force, the Dominion Police, has been in the information business since 1911. Some years earlier a Dominion Police inspector got chatting with a Scotland Yard official when both were attending a fair at St. Louis, Mo. The Canadian became im- pressed with what he heard from the Scotland Yard man of the relatively new idea of using fingerprints for identifi- cation. By 1911 the Dominion Police had persuaded police in Can- ada to use the system and had established a central finger- print bureau with the prints of sundry penitentiary prisoners as a starter. Since that time the centre has expanded until now there are about one million prints and some three million names on file here. Several hundred sets of prints arrive daily for checks and filing from police forces across the country, says Chief Su William Harri- son, in charge of the section. PRINTS COMPARED With some of the 115 per- sons under him working man- hasn't yet found a way to compare fin- owner of a fin- gerprint can be identified in as short a time as an hour. Having identified a print, a complete file of a person's ar- rest and conviction record can be forwarded to a requesting police force. Conversely a name, even if it is an alias, may result in fingerprints being forwarded, by wirephoto if somebody is in a hurry. Meanwhile, more informa- tion is pouring out of the RCMP laboratories spread across the country. Counterfeit bills find their The belted Radiate Made differentlyjo set a new performance standard Steel belted 195-14 Installed Guaranteed miles! Steel belts provide maximum protection against cuts, punctures and other road hazards. Steel belts plus radial ply construction means unsurpassed control and traction. TUBELE5S WHITEWALL 'Charge it' on your All Purpose Account TUBE TYPE WHITEWALL tube mile wearout guarantee SERVICE STATION HOURS: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daily Thursday and Friday until 9pm.- Centre Village 2nd Ave. and 13th St. N. way here for checking for clues. Forensic scientists, half them graduates from RCMP ranks, can turn such sophisti- cated gadgetry as the "atomic absorption equipment" loose on tests of about 80 categories for substances. These range from bullets to fabrics to blood to plant and botanical examination. Last year the scientists did tests and appeared in court times to testify about the results. AVAILABLE IN SECONDS But if information can be glamorous, the glamor boy of the whole setup has to be ci- vilian George Thompson, 44, director of the centre. At the drop of a reporter's question, Mr. Thompson will go to a test terminal and seek information on licence plate number 745 432 or a man whose name he doesn't want disclosed for fear of embar- rassment to an innocent per- son. In seconds the computer feeds back information on a stolen car or a fraud artist with a couple of aliases. At present the centre pro- vides only information on wanted criminals and stolen cars. But Mr. Thompson says the day is coming when there British comedy writer dies LONDON (AP) Ronald Jeans, 86, a writer of comedy for the British stage for more than half a century, died Wednesday. Jeans contributed to revues whose stars included Gertrude Lawrence and Beat- rice Lillie. Among his writing collaborators were Noel Coward and J. B. Priestley. will be push-button informa- tion on criminal records, sto- len securities and perhaps such things as firearms regis- tration. He says the fact that the in- formation i s electronically available need not concern citizens afraid of data banks. "All we've done is speeded up the he said. "It is just another tool for the po- liceman." Under present legislation, it is possible to erase informa- tion in seme cases. If after five years a former criminal has a clean record, he can apply to the parole board to have his slate wiped clean. Then his criminal and ar- rest record is sealed in RCMP files, available for opening only on the order of the solici- tor-general. 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