back to article Police beg for e-forensics team to probe crims' iPads, mobiles

The National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) said it wants an e-forensics project, aimed at speeding up the examination of ICT used by criminals, to be available to all forces from September. Over the past seven years, the number of electronic devices examined by technology experts in police force hi-tech crime units (HTCUs) …


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  1. Magister

    Yes but...

    Having a project to speed up access to an expert is only part of the solution. They also need to have more people that have been appropriately trained.

    As it happens, I have had part of the training (did it primarily for my own amusement) and it is not just a case of learning how image a drive and capture data; you also have to be aware of how to present the information in a way that they court will accept (and each court seems to have their own little foibles).

    I can see a niche for a lot more little start-ups prepared to work with their local police / courts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      that have been appropriately trained

      And actually have a clue about the technology. E.G. that an IP address does not, on its own, uniquely identify a person, that some dodgy stuff can find its way onto a machine through compromised legitimate sites or innocently clicking an unknown link, that purchases of illegal stuff are often made with stolen/fraudulent credit cards (Ore/Landslide).

  2. P Saunders


    So they can create a GUI interface in Visual Basic to trace an IP address?

  3. Arrrggghh-otron

    No vacancies though...

    Just had a look on the NPIA jobs page and there aren't any vacancies for techies...

  4. Khaptain

    Catch 22 situation

    Step 1 : The police are under-equiped to deal with high tech, meanwhile the crims use the latest High Tech.

    Step 2 : Studies are done, tenders are sent out and the police get equiped. a very small group of crims are caught.

    Step 3 : Someone develops new High tech that the police can't decifer/decode etc.....

    Step 4 : Goto stage 1.

    Meanwhile lots of money has changed hands, we remove coppers from the beat to put them into offices to deal with the high tech crimes, budgets are reduced where they are really neeeded and the whole shebang just keeps repeating itself.

    Criminals exist for a multitude of reasons but I believe that unemployement and unfair wealth distribution are major factors concerning their existance.

    Providing the Police with more High tech goodies will not eliminate the fundamental problems, it will merely provide a new means of justifying their presence.

    I can't even begin to imagine how frustrating life must be for the cops......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Catch 22 situation

      As a former copper I agree - the old saying about the police rings true here - a 18th century institution using 19th century methods (ie. pen and paper) fighting 20th century crime (ie. robbery and burglary) in the 21st century.

      When i was in the MET this was the process when we found a phone on someone we arrested.

      -> get IMEI number

      -> check if serial numbel appears on immobilise ( and if so if current suspect matches identity of said owner

      -> At this stage, that was it, if they need to forensically analyse the phone you would bag it and tag it and it would head to Forensic Science services in Birmingham and it would be 3-6 months before you got anything back. Due to the way invoicing works FSS would invoice your borough command the price of the analysis, so there usually had to be a good justification to do this - and this decision was always made by people more important than a lowly bobby.

  5. jake Silver badge

    The main problem is ...

    ... that "the law" isn't equipped to deal with ones & zeros, and the transportation of same. Until this changes, any discussion of this subject is pretty much useless.

  6. FordPrefect

    Can I have a badge, a gun, a kicking soundtrack, a subtly lit office, be surrounded by leggy attractive women and interview suspects all whilst having lots of slo mo action? Thought not! I'll pass!

  7. Tony Paulazzo

    >Criminals exist for a multitude of reasons but I believe that unemployement and unfair wealth distribution are major factors concerning their existance.<

    You sir, (or Ms), will report to room 101 for readjustment. Also, the wolves are there to create compliance among the sheep (unless you believe the Guardian - it was an insurance scam by the three little pigs).

  8. Spoonsinger

    Basic problem is probably just down to their HR,

    Only circa 5000 people working in the forensics 'industry' as a whole. Apparently the 'industry' recruits 200 people a year - which seems quite a lot of drop out. Wages start 16K to around about 45K. People studying per year is circa 1500. However the majority of these people are at the chemistry and biology end. But they have the 'whole' forensics thing in their 'qualification' - which is what the HR bods will pick up on, so a bit rubbish for IT box scanning stuff. 'Educate the HR'(*), and they might be able to find the people they need.

    (*) Yeh right.

  9. Arthur 1

    With Apologies

    I know what he meant, I know I'm being a dick and I know it's only tangential to the article, but...

    "police forces were spending an increasing amount of time, money and staff on interrogating electronic devices" <--- this produced a mental image too funny for words.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: With Apologies

      Black iPhones falling own stairs?

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