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Cell Phone Technology to Trace Violent Criminals Bruce Young Rosebank CPF.

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Presentation on theme: "Cell Phone Technology to Trace Violent Criminals Bruce Young Rosebank CPF."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cell Phone Technology to Trace Violent Criminals Bruce Young Rosebank CPF

2 Topics to be Discussed

3 What is Technically Possible (1) Every handset has a unique 15 digit IMEI number (serial no) Accessible by typing *#06# on a GSM Phone Cell phone providers record detailed call records of all phone calls made (60-80 million per day) Call records kept for 6 months (to change to 5 years) If your cell phone is stolen and you don’t know the IMEI the cell phone provider can tell you what it is. Provided the IMEI is not changed the handset can be traced and the new number(s) established

4 What is technically possible (2) Call Records Phone Number IMEI Number Simcard Number Usage Dates No of Calls Made Contract Basis Calls Made During Robbery Handset Profile Phone Location

5 What is technically possible (3) IMEI No’s of Stolen Phones From 3 Separate Armed Robberies Suspect 1 Linked to All 3 Robberies Suspect 2 Linked to 2 Robberies

6 What is technically possible (4) - Look4me.co.za was in the vicinity of COEN STEYTLER AVE, CAPE TOWN CBD, (cell Foreshore), CAPE TOWN, WESTERN CAPE, within the last 10min. Accuracy 300m. 09/11/ :35.  New Vodacom technology which (theoretically) can be used to locate a number or a handset via handset tracing.  Location can be traced on a real- time basis on the internet provided the handset is on.  Accuracy depends on cell phone mast density and so is less accurate in rural areas  Owing to its recent introduction this has not been used much by the police yet

7 The Police Cell Phone Technology is Used By the Police (Serious & Violent Crime) But … Only used in a small number of high profile cases Many armed robberies and murders could be solved by this technology but are not Bureaucratic procedures to pay cell phone providers and with the NPA can cause long delays causing trails Level of training and understanding in the police can be improved

8 Cell Phone Providers Provision of information to the police relating to criminal incidents creates a significant administrative burden for cell phone providers (800 requests per month for Voacom) Many of these requests stipulate information to be provided on multiple numbers and significant work is required to comply with this. Historically Vodacom had much more freely provided information to the Police but the workload had significantly increased and there were numerous cases of abuse where records were obtained under false pretences. For these reasons cell phone providers had instituted procedures with the police involving using section 205 of the criminal procedure act which requires the co-operation of the NPA Cell phone providers agree that the current process is very inefficient and involves the physical delivery of documents and a long paper trail which can cause delays up to 6 months. Cell phone providers are commited to providing assistance and are investigating alternative legal mechanisms and procedures to assist

9 The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) If cell phone information is requested via a section 205 court order this needs to be signed by a prosecutor from the NPA NPA Prosecutors arbitrarily refuse to sign 205’s No clear guidelines are available to the CPF forum on what the NPA guidelines are After pressure was applied to NPA they apparently instituted guidelines but they are secret Problems persist

10 The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) – A case study In this particular case prosecutors refused to sign 205’s relating to cell phones stolen in armed robberies Head of NPA acknowledges deficiencies Police officers often struggle to get 205’s signed and give up

11 Community Policing Forums Advice to Victims in the Rosebank PolicePrecinct is done as part of victim support To Achieve Results it is Often Necessary for Victims to Become Personally Involved More Pressure is Still Required from the Public

12 The Law Four Areas of Law Relevant to This: Section 205 of the Criminal Procedure Act dealing with the issuing of court orders to compel the furnishing of information relevant to a criminal investigation The Promotion of Access to Information Act potentially allows the victim to compel the service provider to provide information relating to a stolen handset. (No NPA involvement required) Constitutional right to privacy in chapter 2 of the Bill of Rights Interception and Monitoring Act that is about to be promulgated There is a lack of consensus and understanding among the role players regarding what the legal requirements really are The law is not clear Cell phone providers are seeking expert legal opinion with a view to simplifying procedures and issuing clear guidelines concerning when 205’s can be issued and when not

13 Next Step is a Workshop Involving:


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