Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System Policy (Synopsis)

Winnipeg Police Service

Description: The Winnipeg Police Service implemented a new Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System (ViCLAS) policy in an effort to increase compliance with the ViCLAS system across the police service. ViCLAS is a national Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) database that stores information on specified violent or interpersonal crimes. Police services across Canada contribute to ViCLAS by submitting information about the violent crime investigations undertaken in their jurisdictions. ViCLAS specialists analyze the information and assist police in identifying links between crimes. This helps to identify crimes committed by the same offender. The system is used in Canada and internationally. ViCLAS has been in use since the mid-1980s; however, given the lengthy process of manually completing booklets to make entries into the system, take up was limited within the Winnipeg Police Service.

The ViCLAS policy addressed this limitation by switching to an electronic online entry process for ViCLAS submissions. Members investigating a sexual assault or homicide send an online task to the ViCLAS centre when an entry needs to be made. The ViCLAS centre then processes the information into ViCLAS. The ViCLAS policy was first introduced as a pilot project in the Sex Crimes Unit in 2009 and was expanded to the entire police service in fall 2011.
Objective: ViCLAS is a national repository that seeks to capture, collate and compare violent crimes in an effort to identify and track serial violent crime and criminals. The goal of the ViCLAS policy was to provide an electronic mechanism to make completion of ViCLAS entries easier and increase the accuracy and reliability of the database. The policy was introduced to ensure that investigators submit relevant cases to ViCLAS.
Outcomes: The ViCLAS policy has increased compliance with ViCLAS from approximately 30% to 100% across the police service. The new entry process reduces the reporting time involved for all members investigating a sexual assault or homicide from approximately one hour to a matter of seconds by having the officers simply send an online task to the ViCLAS centre. ViCLAS submissions are more accurate as a result, reducing the need for quality control and contributing to a more reliable intelligence database. The process and progress is tracked daily by a ViCLAS specialist in the Winnipeg Police Service.
Resources: Existing resources from within the Winnipeg Police Service were reassigned to implement and enforce the ViCLAS policy.
Province: Manitoba
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
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