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AUSTRALIA

A national DNA database was expected to begin operating by the middle of the year. Victoria and the Northern Territory have the legislation in place and other states were moving to do so. Once in operation, the database would receive DNA samples from every person charged with a serious offense.

The Tasmania Police service was granted the freedom of the City of Launceston in recognition of 100 years of distinguished service and protection of the citizens. The ceremony marked the start of almost year-long celebrations for the state police centenary.

BRITAIN

The British government said it would provide $6.5 million in capital funding for police air support. Some 37 services of the 43 in England and Wales have air support. This would increase as a result of the latest grant that included money for Suffolk Police to establish an air support unit.

Home Secretary Jack Straw caused a major controversy with plans to jail pedophiles and dangerous psychopaths indefinitely - even if they have not committed a crime. Police or social workers would be able to ask a court to authorize a detention order if it was believed the person was a threat to the community.

Greater Manchester planned to test a system replacing some police stations with unstaffed computer kiosks. People would report an emergency or speak to an officer using a touch screen to be put through by telephone to the nearest control room. Police said most people already reported crime over the telephone and rarely needed to go to a police station, except to present documents.

British police chiefs were ordered to triple black and Asian recruitment with a national target of 7% of officers from ethnic minorities. Home Secretary Jack Straw said a fifth of the police services in England and Wales had fewer than 10 officers from ethnic minorities. At the moment there are only 2,500 black or Asian officers among the 127,000 police officers in England and Wales.

CANADA

Ontario Provincial Police recommended mandatory installation of airline-style black boxes in transport trucks. Officers would use the data recorders to investigate crashes and keep truck drivers - often paid by the mile - from faking entries in their log books.

Toronto Police Chief David Boothby proposed tighter rules for officers conducting strip-searches including a requirement they document all stripsearches and the reasons they were carried out. Officers in police stations would have to seek permission from the officer in charge before conducting a strip-search. …

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