ViCLAS is the abbreviation for the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System, developed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1991.
ViCLAS supports the police in their investigation work and in particular in checking whether an offence is part of a series of crimes. With the aid of the system, complex information on individual offences can be compiled and compared quickly and effectively, which is highly useful given the ever increasing mobility of offenders. ViCLAS can indicate lines of enquiry that may be followed in an investigation and helps to foster communication and cooperation between police forces.
A standardised case description is drawn up for the offence, providing the relevant information and indicating any discernible behaviour patterns. Case-related research in ViCLAS can point up similarities to cases that have already been entered in the system, known as Offence-Offence and/or Offence-Offender links. In the best case scenario, this will indicate that a serial offender is responsible and teamwork between various offices can in some circumstances allow the relevant offender to be identified more efficiently.
ViCLAS is used in various countries around the world, including Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, France, the Czech Republic and various states of the USA.