Live evidence streaming: the future of collaborative, mobile policing?

The ability to react and respond quickly in the event of a major incident is critical in apprehending related suspects and the streaming of evidence could play a key role in this, according to a new White Paper on digital evidence management.

Mar 11, 2010
By Paul Jacques
Andy Marsh

The ability to react and respond quickly in the event of a major incident is critical in apprehending related suspects and the streaming of evidence could play a key role in this, according to a new White Paper on digital evidence management.

The logistical and technological problems of accessing and disseminating evidential recordings have previously hindered most attempts at leveraging collaborative policing. Digital evidence management has been widely accepted as the natural successor to end-of-life analogue systems and has the potential to positively change the way police interviews and evidence are captured, stored, retrieved and shared.

Recent technology developments could be the first step in enabling video and audio feeds to be streamed immediately to any other location electronically connected to the interview room and so the potential for information sharing in near real-time across multiple locations cannot be underestimated, highlights a new White Paper commissioned by Business Systems (UK) Ltd, specialists in multi-channel recording solutions. Similarly, mobile teams could obtain statements and conduct interviews in the field, with voice and video recordings being automatically uploaded to a secure server and made accessible to those with the relevant security clearance.

A digital evidence system also provides benefits which may seem less apparent, but which could offer substantial efficiency improvements, not least of which is the ability to search for digitally recorded interviews based on their content. This ease of access not only improves efficiencies within individual forces, but may also prove instrumental in breaking down the boundaries between forces, enabling permission-based collaboration across the nation helping one another to resolve serious crimes.

The White Paper, Digital Evidence Management: A Police service perspective on the case for change, explains that with the implementation of a digital evidence system comes more comprehensive indexing, where transcriptions could be indexed and stored with a digital copy of the file. This will enable the search engine to find recordings based on any text attached to the recording. This in turn leads to improved collation, aggregation and search functionality and the ability to analyse evidence gathered across all investigations on a national basis.

In a wider context, faster, continuous and broader access to evidence supports the Office for Criminal Justice Reforms (OCJR) 2011 vision for a more effective system of bringing offenders to justice, particularly in serious offences.

The paper concludes that digital evidence management has clear potential to deliver significant cost savings and improved efficiencies with performance and quality gains achievable across the wider criminal justice system. However, the individual business case for each force needs to be determined on its own merits and the parameters within which it operates.

*The White Paper, Digital Evidence Management: A Police service perspective on the case for change, can be downloaded at www.businesssystemsuk.com/CODES

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