Police to speed up e-forensics to bring offenders to justice
16 November 2011
Individuals committing serious crimes such as homicide, domestic violence, fraud, or the distribution of child sex images on the internet, could be brought to justice more quickly if a new trial to help police with computer evidence proves successful.
The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) said its new pilot scheme was designed to help police forces that had faced a growth in computer crime and a subsequent 300 per cent rise in demand for technology experts to examine electronic devices.
The agency said it had developed a more efficient way for police forces to manage the number of devices that needed to be examined, which it said would help police officers get the evidence they need more quickly.
Currently police forces tackle the e-forensics process in different ways. But under the new six month pilot processes for examining computers and mobile devices will be standardised across forces through a single management system.
A central unit has been set up in Nottingham, and police officers will be able to contact technology experts from Hi-Tech Crime Units (HTCUs) involved in the pilot. Examination requests will then be assessed and prioritised before investigations are conducted.
HTCUs from Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire are involved in the trial.
DCC East Midlands Peter Goodman, said: "This is another example of how the five forces are working together to increase effectiveness and efficiency in order to maintain a quality police service in light of stringent budget cuts.
"We are determined to work with the NPIA to make the most of this important investigation technique to protect the communities of the East Midlands."
And Simon Bramble, head of police science and forensics at the NPIA said: "This good practice model is helping forces examine more electronic devices faster, increasing the chances of evidence being found that could be used in court to convict more criminals.
"This is another good example of how the NPIA works with the police service to deliver initiatives that provide more for less and help support frontline officers to protect our communities."
The NPIA is to be phased in coming months as part of the government's rationalisation of quangos.