Tag Archives: Crime Reporting

ADS Group Council member welcomes Home Office report on forensic science

Elizabeth Sheldon (Aerospace, Defence and Security Group Council member and CEO of Evidence Talks) has welcomed the publication of a Home Office report entitled ‘Forensic Science Strategy – A National Approach to Forensic Science Delivery in the Criminal Justice System.’

Drawing attention to some of the key conclusions in the report, Sheldon has identified the case for “real-time forensics to be at the heart of a new approach” as an encouragement to police forces to step up the use of techniques such as digital triage and reduce the backlog of cases.

“The report talks of a new vision which could enable a single forensic deployment to cover all requirements; from traditional evidence recovery to digital triage and basic crime reporting,” explained Sheldon. “It also stresses the importance of a consistent national approach, and anticipates an improvement in the delivery time of results and swifter criminal justice outcomes.”

ElizabethSheldon

Sheldon (pictured above) points towards supportive research on such observations, citing the paper from Overill, Silomon and Roscoe published by Elsevier in 2013 and entitled: ‘Triage Template Pipelines in Digital Forensic Investigations’ which drew attention to the burgeoning use of digital devices as a prime driver of the need for greater use of digital forensics by the police service.

The report included the following statement: ‘The very reliance of digital devices for the conduct of most people’s daily professional and personal lives has led to an overload on digital forensic examination resources.’

By way of an example, it refers to figures from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Digital Electronics and Forensics Service showing some 38,000 digital devices per annum being received for examination by a team of 80 staff.

Skills and technical capabilities

In a further reference to the Home Office report, Sheldon says the Home Office is right to focus on the fact that “the crime scene investigators need the skills and technical capabilities to allow forensic information to be collected and processed at scene and directed to the most appropriate database or end user.”

The good news, explains Sheldon, is that technology and training is readily available from industry specialists allowing police forces to get up-to-speed. Such solutions can be used by non-technical operators, after relevant training, to quickly and safely investigate the contents of devices within the desired charging time frame.

In summing up, Sheldon quotes from the Ministerial Foreword to the Home Office report, which is written by Mike Penning MP, the Minister for Policing, Fire and Criminal Justice and Victims. Penning states: “Digital technology has transformed how we live our lives. We need to ensure that those responsible for our protection continue to have the capabilities to investigate crime in this new technological age.”

Penning’s call to reshape the current landscape towards a modern forensic science provision, believes Sheldon, will be greeted with equal enthusiasm by police forces and the supplier community.

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Mitie unveils online crime reporting partnership with Facewatch

FTSE 250 strategic outsourcing company Mitie has announced a strategic partnership with Facewatch, the online crime reporting and networking service.

Facewatch is a secure, cloud-based platform that enables business users, the public and the police to report low-level crime with CCTV evidence and to share offender images and intelligence with other businesses within secure groups.

Facewatch provides tools to develop intelligence about specific individuals and affords advanced statistics enabling businesses and the police service to drive down crime.

The Facewatch system holds the police approved Secured by Design accreditation and is fully accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as a means of accessing digital case files within UK Courts of Law. Facewatch is accessible from any Internet-connected device.

Mitie has forged an online crime reporting partnership with Facewatch

Mitie has forged an online crime reporting partnership with Facewatch

This new partnership will see Mitie take control of the entire crime reporting process on behalf of its customers.

Using Mitec, Mitie’s hi-tech security hub, analysts will be able to review CCTV footage, prepare incident reports and develop evidential packs in line with police service and CPS guidelines so these can be used to support prosecutions.

Crime reporting and threat analysis

Darren Gamage, managing director of technology services at Mitie’s Total Security Management business, said: “Working with Facewatch gives us an exciting opportunity to enhance our crime reporting and threat analysis service for our customers. Our analysts in Mitec will work with the various police forces in efficient crime reporting, allowing us to better manage risk and document incidents.”

Gamage added: “We will also be able to share data across our clients’ estates where we’re already monitoring their systems or providing a physical security presence.”

Simon Gordon, chairman of Facewatch, commented: “We’re delighted to be working with Mitie on this launch. Delivering an instant and secure reporting solution to offences such as shoplifting, personal theft and vandalism is key to our partnership. We are focused on improving the quality of crime reports sent to the police from businesses, assisting in developing police efficiencies and reducing crime.”

The Facewatch system now contains around 18,000 images and logs over 8,000 business premises. The concept was kick-started back in March 2010.

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