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Violent Crime Linkage System (ViCLAS) - ViCLAS Business Plan Preparation Manual

Authorization/Approval: Send all business plans to the following individual:

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Behavioural Sciences Branch
TPOF Building
1426 St. Joseph Boulevard
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0R2

Organizational mandate/Area of expertise: In this part, specify the area of responsibility of your organization, as well as the area of expertise. Is it a federal, provincial, regional, municipal or state organization/agency? What is the area of responsibility and/or mandate of your organization?

Reporting relationships: Will ViCLAS be a supplementary service within an existing unit or office, or will you be setting up a new, distinct ViCLAS service? To whom will the ViCLAS manager report?

Other services: What other services related to ViCLAS or Behavioural Science does your agency offer, such as geographic profiling, analysis of criminal investigations (profiling) and reliability control? Will your proposed ViCLAS centre provide these services?

Use of computer program: ViCLAS is used to establish links between cases and connect offenders to serial offences. It was created based on principles of behaviour as recognized and established by the FBI. It is not an intelligence database or case management system. How do you intend to use it?

Changes to system: In order to increase the system's effectiveness, you may have to make slight changes to how questions/options are stated. However, any structural changes to the system, such as deleting or modifying questions or answering options, must be approved by the OIC ViCLAS at the national policy centre, in Ottawa, Canada. Will you have to request changes? If so, what sort of changes?

ViCLAS clients: To whom will you be offering ViCLAS services, i.e. other law enforcement agencies within the country or state or solely within your agency?

Technical structure of network: If you will be providing ViCLAS services to other agencies, how will you proceed? Will you set up a ViCLAS office in each of these agencies? If so, will you exchange data? Will you use a wide-area network (WAN)? Will you be connected to a secure police network, to the Internet, or will you import/export data manually (diskette)?

If you will be providing services exclusively within your agency, how will ViCLAS be installed? Will you use a wide-area network (WAN)? How will it be installed? How many workstations will be connected to the network, and will they be located in the same office?

Security of data: ViCLAS 4.0 can provide users with a password, as well as a user ID. What other measures will you take to ensure the security of data?

System users: In general, only ViCLAS-trained staff is allowed access to system files. Within your organization, who will have access to ViCLAS files?

Data collection system: ViCLAS files usually come from ViCLAS books completed by investigators. These books are then sent to the ViCLAS centre, where data is entered into the system. How do you plan to proceed in this regard?

Quality assurance: One of the most important functions of a ViCLAS centre is to ensure the data entered into the system are complete, accurate and reliable. What system(s) will you use to ensure that only quality data are entered into the system?

Types of crime entered into the system: In Canada, the following selection criteria are used to determine the types of crime to be entered into VICLAS:

  • All solved or unsolved homicides and attempts;
  • All solved or unsolved sexual assaults or attempts except familial/domestic unless there is unique or significant physical, sexual or verbal behaviour;
  • Missing persons where foul play is suspected;
  • Unidentified human remains where foul play is suspected;
  • All non-parental abductions and attempts;
  • False allegations of sexual assault or attempted murder;
  • All solved or unsolved or attempted child luring.
  • Regardless of the nature of the investigation, investigators may submit their case to ViCLAS using a ViCLAS Booklet if they have reason to believe that the offender involved (known or unknown) may have been responsible for other violent crimes or has the potential to offend/re-offend.

What types of crime will you enter in ViCLAS?

Audit: To ensure the credibility and consistency of ViCLAS centres, representatives of the Canadian national ViCLAS centre may be required to conduct on-site audits. The latter may include an inspection of the premises and a review of various system files. Would such an audit violate any statutes, regulations or policies?

Compliance: Compliance rates are measured by the number of cases that can be reported and the cases entered in the system. For instance, if 100 cases were reportable but only 50 were reported to you, the compliance rate would be 50%. A higher compliance rate increases the possibility of establishing links between cases. What measures have you taken or will you take to maximize compliance rates within your area of expertise? Will compliance be mandatory? If so, how will you ensure compliance? Will you implement specific policy or legislation?

Program promotion: Experience has shown the importance of gaining the support of those who conduct investigations or send reports for entry into ViCLAS. This can also have a significant impact in the area of compliance. What measures have you taken or will you take to promote ViCLAS within your area of expertise?

Training: ViCLAS 4.0 is a state-of-the-art, high-tech program. However, it will not be effective in the absence of appropriately-trained specialists. We have developed a three-week ViCLAS Specialist Course, which will be mandatory for all Canadian ViCLAS specialists. This course is also offered to foreign agencies. What training have you offered or will you offer to ViCLAS specialists in your centre?

Professional history/qualifications: Selection criteria for RCMP ViCLAS centre specialists include extensive experience in operational policing duties, namely investigations into violent interpersonal crimes such as murder, sexual assault and abduction. What are your minimal selection criteria?

Insp. Larry Wilson
OIC, Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(613) 993-8327