Hi I am into my Database course.

I have proposed to develop a criminal record database as the project. If anyone have worked on such a project before or know a few things about it please do share it with me. Currently I am trying to design the schema for the database. I know someone from the Police Department but it wont be very easy for me to know how they structure the records. So please share a few things if you know something about any criminal database regarding the design and implementation. What the basic facilities can easily be integrated into it without much investment on time and effort. Since this is just a one semester project it will probably be a demo project with limited functionalities. For example, for identification purpose we would like to implement something very easy for now. I have been thinking of fingerprint identification system, but not sure if we can implement it in such a short period of time. It would be better if I can find some libraries to do the job. Anywayz, do share your views with me on this project.

Thank you.

I think that your friend in the police department would be a better source of information, although I would be surprised if he or she knew much about the data model that they store info in. At best this person would be able to tell you about the types of information that is stored on a criminal with a record. I suggest you get this information on types, then try and group them into the tables that they should go in. For instance, you would want all pertinant personal information in a personal table. Another table might be about this person's experience with the justice system (court dates, jurisdiction in which the complaint was filed/tried, attorney of record, outcome). Another table might have all outstanding wants and warrants organized by area. You would also want to have a table with all charges filed against this person. A query to this table by a warrant squad or during an investigation would give them a better idea of what kind of criminal they were dealing with (multiple murder convictions/suspected, sex offender rating, etc). You can go as deep as you want, just try and model it after real-life (have all your ducks in a row in terms of data modeling). My standard advice when working on a problem of this kind is to come up with something now, and continue to roll it around in your head for a while, improving it as you go. Data modeling isn't something you can't do from scratch in an hour.

As you might have realized I watch an obscene amount of Law and Order.

Thanks for your reply. I have talked to that person in the police department. He seems to know what kind of attributes are kept for criminals. However, it turned out to be something really huge. Especially in terms of charges or acts under which a person can be arrested. It seems to me that I migth have to start studying law to know about the range of acts, types of acts available. Then you have descriptions about his face. In case a picture isn't available we need to store what type of nose he had, the color of the eye, the way he brushes his hairs and so on. God knows how many more entity and attributes will be found.

I was basically thinking if I could find the types of information Police departments in Australia, US etc. keep their database. Isn't their any website that says something about it? I searched a little but wasn't very successful.