As part of efforts to improve services as well as strengthen its collaboration with the general public towards crime reduction, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) recently entered into a Public Private Partnership with Ace of Spades Consult Nigeria Limited (AoS), to Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) a civil database and also update criminal records.
A statement explained that the partnership aims specifically to digitise criminal records and provide a web portal for an online automated system of background checks and issuance of criminal records clearance certificate.
The project is to be operated by AoS as a business, and would make the process of background checks and issuance of clearance certificates automated, seamless, credible, and affordable for everyone and every legal entity.
The system would also help build security awareness and serve as a deterrent to crime as most individuals and corporate establishments would seek to avoid having negative records that may affect their sources of livelihood and erode their image.
"All previously documented criminal records stored at the Criminal Records Registry (CRR) in Alagbon are at the present time being converted into an electronic format and stored on a database, while new criminal records from the courts will be uploaded to the database from all legal departments of the NPF using the innovative idea of a Police Background Check Number (PBCN).
"The Police Background Check Number will be associated with every individual's biometric information and corporate entity's Registration Certificate (RC) number already held by other government agencies.
"For this purpose, every individual and legal entity, both foreign and domestic is encouraged to sign up and acquire a PBCN to ensure accurate records.
"The opportunity to do this will be from the 1st of July 2019 through a dedicated website to be unveiled soon," it added.
This initiative was also aimed at creating a purpose-built civil database for the NPF by interacting with other relevant government agencies like the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Bank Verification Number (BVN) etc, in order to enhance criminal investigations through proper and accurate forensic identification of individuals, thereby giving the NPF access to real time accurate biometric data to function better.
When completed, the process would enable every individual and legal entity, including embassies and employers from any part of the world access to a seamless and credible online background checks system as well as the acquisition of automated forge-proof digital certificates when required.
Commenting on the partnership, the Chief Operating Officer of Ace of Spades Consult Nigeria Limited, Mr Afolabi Giwa Amu, said: "Together we can achieve better security through the implementation of a national public awareness campaign of the necessity and requirement for community policing through Criminal Records Checks of individuals and corporate organisations seeking any form of service or engagement.