Tag Archives: Criminal Justice System

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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BSIA Chairman Pauline Norstrom outlines aims for the security sector

Newly-elected British Security Industry Association chairman Pauline Norstrom has marked her appointment with a focus on raising stakeholders’ awareness of the value of quality and innovation over price.

In an inaugural address to British Security Industry Association (BSIA) members and industry stakeholders (delivered at the Association’s Annual Luncheon in July, which was sponsored by Eaton’s security business), Norstrom outlined goals for her two-year tenure as chairman, citing economic recovery and international demand for UK products and services as key drivers of industry growth.

Speaking at London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, Norstrom said: “Moving forward, my vision is to cultivate an increased understanding of – and engagement with – our industry’s customers. It’s crucial to our members’ future success that we invite end users to input into influencing the issues that affect them. This will ensure that the products and services offered by our industry meet their needs and deliver a return on investment.”

Pauline Norstrom delivers the Chairman's Address at the 2014 BSIA Annual Luncheon

Pauline Norstrom delivers the Chairman’s Address at the 2014 BSIA Annual Luncheon

Norstrom continued: “Increased engagement with end users will help members to drive demand by navigating the specification and tender process to their advantage, demonstrating the value of quality to ensure that BSIA membership becomes a key requirement in the competitive process and further enables members to compete with and win against competitors who do not care about quality and instead undercut on price at any cost.”

Other aims outlined include presiding over the development and introduction of a dedicated section of membership for industry stakeholders before the end of 2014.

Paying tribute to outgoing BSIA chairman Geoff Zeidler, who was seated at the top table, Norstrom described the “significant progress that the Association has made towards creating a better industry environment for its members through the influence of legislation, regulation and the development of standards” and added: “Throughout his two years as chairman, my predecessor Geoff Zeidler has worked tirelessly to ensure that the BSIA is best placed to achieve its goals.”

Requirement for political engagement

With less than a year until the next General Election, political engagement for the BSIA is also on Norstrom’s mind. Forging new relationships with key political figures including MPs, Peers, Police and Crime Commissioners, local Government officials and Think Tanks remains a priority for the Association’s busy public affairs programme over the coming months.

Left to Right: Baroness Smith of Basildon, Pauline Norstrom and James Kelly

Left to Right: Baroness Smith of Basildon, Pauline Norstrom and James Kelly

An issue close to Pauline’s own heart and reflective of her well-respected position as a key influencer in the CCTV sector is ensuring that the BSIA continues to influence further development of the Government’s CCTV Code of Practice.

The launch in 2013 of the BSIA’s own research into the number and scope of CCTV cameras in the UK succeeded in positioning the Association as the key authority on the subject, while emphasising the important role that privately-owned systems play in supporting the police service and the criminal justice system in securing high profile prosecutions.

In the coming year, Norstrom predicts the Code of Practice will reach even further, supported by the BSIA’s own Code of Practice (Form 109) with which members must comply.

As Chief Operating Officer of Dedicated Micros and the wider AD Group (comprising 18-plus companies), Norstrom has 15 years’ experience in the industry and possesses extensive knowledge of legislation and technical innovation. In her role as chairman of the BSIA, Norstrom chairs the Association’s Council and the Operating Board.

Norstrom is a long-serving member of the BSIA’s CCTV Section and works closely with the Association’s CEO James Kelly to form strategic objectives for the BSIA.

Norstrom will now serve as BSIA chairman for a two-year period, and will be supported in the first year by Geoff Zeidler as immediate past-chairman.

*Read the full speech on page 19 of the August edition of Risk UK

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