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NCJ Number: 65446 Find in a Library
Title: CONCEPT FOR AN ARSON INTELLIGENCE EXCHANGE
Journal: FIRE AND ARSON INVESTIGATION  Volume:29  Issue:1  Dated:(JULY-SEPTEMBER 1978)  Pages:39-42
Author(s): K C DAVIS
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PRIVATE SOURCES SHOULD BE TAPPED FOR A CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE EXCHANGE ON ARSON INFORMATION SO THAT THE VARIOUS AGENCIES AND PERSONS WHO INVESTIGATIVE ARSON CAN WORK TOGETHER.
Abstract: DEFEATEST ATTITUDES, SUCH AS 'ARSON IS HARD TO PROVE' AND 'YOU HAVE TO CATCH THE ARSONISTS IN THE ACT,' HAVE HELPED TO KEEP LOCAL AGENCIES FROM CREATING CENTRAL INFORMATION BANKS IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA. YET SHOWING THE FACT THAT AN INCENDIARY FIRE HAS OCCURRED IS ONE OF THE EASIER PARTS OF AN INVESTIGATION, AND DEVELOPMENT OF A SUSPECT BY ASSOCIATION OF THE MODUS OPERANDI WITH MOTIVE IS ONE WAY OF PROVING WHO COMMITTED THE ARSON. IN ADDITION, THERE IS A WEALTH OF INFORMATION THAT, WHILE NOT ALL ENCOMPASSING IN THE INDIVIDUAL CASE OR SITUATION, CAN BE OF ASSISTANCE TO OTHERS, IN PLACE AND TIME, BECAUSE OF THE MOBILITY AND REPETITIOUS NATURE OF MANY ARSONISTS OPERATING WITHIN DIFFERENT JURISDICTIONS. SUCH INFORMATION INCLUDES A PARTIAL LICENSE NUMBER, AN ADDRESS, A WITNESS, A TYPE OF INCENDIARY DEVICE, OR RUMORS. THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY PROBABLY RECEIVES AND RECORDS MORE KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION ON INDIVIDUAL ARSON CASES THAN DO THE FIRE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. YET THE FBI HAS REFUSED TO CLASSIFY ARSON AS A MAJOR CRIME CATEGORY SINCE LOCAL JURISDICTIONS HAVE NOT FILED THEIR ARSON INVESTIGATIONS WITH THEIR POLICE JURISDICTION CRIME REPORTING SYSTEM. PROPOSALS FOR CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE EXCHANGES OPEN TO ALL AUTHORIZED AGENCIES AND MANAGED BY INDIVIDUALS KNOWLEDGE IN THE FIELD OF ARSON INVESTIGATIONS HAVE HISTORICALLY FALLEN ON DEAF EARS DUE TO THE INDIVIDUALITY OF AGENCIES AND THE FEAR OF RUNNING AFOUL OF LEGAL REPERCUSSIONS OF THE EVIDENCE CODES AND CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION. WHILE LOCALIZED AND INFORMAL INFORMATION SWAPPING OR ROUND TABLE MEETING ARE USEFUL, UTILITY FIRMS (TELEPHONE, GAS, STORE SECURITY, OR INSURANCE COMPANY FIRMS) ARE NOW WORKING AT ODDS WITH EACH OTHER AND SHOULD BE REDIRECTED SO THAT THEIR EFFORTS CAN COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER IN CURTAILING CRIME. THE DARK AGES OF EXCLUSIVE INFORMATION DEVELOPMENT MUST END IF ARSON INVESTIGATION PROBLEMS ARE TO BE SOLVED.
Index Term(s): Arson; Information dissemination; Information Systems and Technology; Interagency cooperation
Note: REPRINTED FROM CCAI NEWSLETTER
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