The management of digital evidence
There are huge benefits to digital evidence, but with the benefits come data management challenges
Over the last few years there has been a concerted move in criminal justice systems across the world to remove paperwork and move towards a digital case file. In many cases significant funding streams have been put in place to support these initiatives.
Digital evidence now comes from many different sources. These include body worn video, the public sector, commercial and private CCTV footage, mobile phone images and video from the public, still images and video from crime scenes, digital interviews, text-based documents, ANPR, patrol car video, audio from contact centres… The list is long and growing all the time.
This is bringing about technology challenges for the police, prosecutors, the courts and other stakeholders. The police are at the sharp end of managing digital information; responsible for identifying potential evidence from the vast volumes of data available, securing it, building it into cases and sharing it with those who need to see it.
A single, managed point of access to all digital media, whether evidential or not, will:
- improve security
- improve reliability
- reduce cost
- reduce the complexity of implementing guidelines on data retention or deletion.
With improved management, security and integration of data will come the ability to more effectively manage Disclosure and Subject Access Requests; two critical processes in any successful criminal justice system.
In the latest in a series of papers, ‘Managing critical processes with a single Digital Evidence Management platform’, I’m discussing a number of models that are evolving in different jurisdictions around the world for the management and sharing of digital evidence.