Posted in Police Oracle
Date - 11th July 2014
By - Stuart Hyde
One of the challenges to policing is securing evidence from digital devices.
So often simple demands for service require officers to have an
understanding of technology including how to secure and access evidence
or intelligence from digital devices. Likewise reference to social media
has grown substantially to an extent that many incidents
and calls for service now have a digital aspect. That can range from
allegations of Facebook bullying, to recovering images of missing
people, from identity fraud, to producing evidence of drug offences.
Now, evidence or information from digital devices or social media can be
required in a large proportion of cases or calls for service. Reference
to social media in incident logs has more than doubled in the last two
Backlogs, changing technology, access to support, the risk of damage or
corruption of data, are just some of the barriers to effective policing.
Officers investigating a criminal act often need to produce evidence,
which has traditionally been located in fingerprints,
DNA, witness information, suspect behaviour and other investigative
These days' investigators require much more information, intelligence
and data from digital devices. Yet the process for securing that
evidence is often subject to log jams and remotely located High Tech
What the investigator needs is direct access to the contents of the
device, quickly and effectively to allow an informed and effective
interrogation, and linking it to more traditional techniques.
Over the years the quantum of data that could potentially be considered
has grown exponentially in relation to the availability of people to
gather and analyse that data. Now, terabytes of data are the norm and
much more difficult both to search and to analyse.
Identifying evidence that can show connection between fellow criminals,
location of suspects at a particular moment in time, the ownership of
images of child abuse, or logs demonstrating connectivity prior to a
hack or an identity crime, are all valued in the
Providing the investigator with the ability to examine and assess that
data is of paramount importance. Keeping all digital work centralised,
in remote locations where expensive journeys are essential to secure
evidence, will not always reduce the current backlogs
or help to develop the digital investigation skills of officers.
Police officers only want to serve their public and are often frustrated
by the time it takes to secure evidence from a seized laptop, tablet
phone or hard drive. The delay in securing this evidence and slowing up
the investigation is as annoying to the investigator
as it is to the public.
Waiting six months to view evidence from a seized computer is simply not good enough for the investigation or the public.
By using commercially available software or outsourcing, the backlog can
be reduced. However, this is only part of the solution. Bringing
officers into the investigation process and allowing them some
engagement and ability to analyse will help to develop their
professional digital skills.
Keeping officers isolated and remote, could discourage seizing digital
devices or miss the opportunity to help them learn. A solution that
matches upholding digital forensics standards, as well as allowing
effective and efficient analysis of the digital recovery,
will help officers to understand digital evidence and prepare them for
I wrote this in my role as Director of Solutions Law Enforcement, CCL Group
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CATEGORIES AND TAGS
COMMENT E-CRIME INVESTIGATIONPOLICE IT AND TECHNOLOGY
DIGITAL EVIDENCE STUART HYDE...MORE
This is my personal blog for issues that I will make comment upon, my own views. Feel free to comment or connect with me. AQL commissioned Ambassador for the Yorkshire Humberside Cyber security Information Sharing Partnership To join follow www.ncsc.gov.uk/CISP
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