MANILA, Philippines—For policemen, serving a warrant on a wanted person anywhere in the country may soon be just a matter of clicking on a link in the Internet.
The Philippine National Police is set to implement this year an “e-warrant” or electronic warrant system, in which officers may access a database of court-issued warrants of arrest from any point in the country to check if a suspicious individual is hiding from the law.
“Meaning, if you are in Mindanao and you think there is a warrant of arrest for a suspect [in a crime] that occurred in Luzon, you may access it even if you are far from the place of incident,” PNP Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome said.
On top of the e-warrant system, the PNP is planning to put up an electronic “rogues gallery” database, or “e-rogue,” in which the photo gallery of suspects shall be posted for easy reference by investigators, Bartolome added.
The e-warrant and e-rogue systems are part of efforts by the PNP to modernize itself and to use technology to improve crime solution and teach new skills to some 140,000 cops.
Already, the PNP has in place the “e-blotter,” or electronic blotter system, in which entries in the blotter in police stations are encoded for easy transmission to headquarters and other units.
“We will specialize in crime investigation,” Bartolome said in a briefing at Camp Crame on Monday. “We will enhance the skills of our personnel and we will develop their competencies,” he told reporters.
Under the e-warrant system, PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. said, police officers who confirm the existence of an arrest warrant for a person may just print it out and serve it on the subject.
“It will make it simpler for the police to catch wanted criminals this way,” he said.
Bartolome said crime volume fell by 23.36 percent from January to December 15, 2011 compared to the same period the year before.
Crimes against persons, such as murder, homicide and rape, decreased by 30.42 percent, while crimes against property, such as theft and robbery, fell by 17.88 percent, the PNP chief said.
On the other hand, crime solution efficiency, or the percentage of cases in which at least one suspect is arrested, rose by 12.45 percent compared to 2010, Bartolome said.