Lancashire’s digital forensics department was officially relaunched last summer – the culmination of £2.7m of investment over the course of the last three years. Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“It is crucial that forces across the country ensure their digital capabilities are to a high standard and well placed to tackle the ever evolving nature of crime. This is why I’m delighted that the investment we’ve made in Lancashire is making such a clear operational difference. Over half of all crime has an online element, with this only set to increase. Ultimately, it’s about keeping people safe and removing those who do commit crimes from our streets. The work that the digital forensics team to here in Lancashire is critical in delivering on our priorities and protecting people from harm, with the important role our digital experts play only set to increase going forward.”
As criminals have become increasingly reliant on technology to commit crime, so too have the police found themselves routinely turning to technology in their search for evidence. Adam Koral, manager of the Digital Management Investigations Unit (DMIU) said;
“Now we take a more intelligence-led approach. So if we are looking for a device which is linked to indecent images being uploaded to the internet and we find an old Nokia phone in an attic, with no SIM card in it, then we may see if there are other avenues for checking whether that handset has been involved [rather than deploying the full suite of digital examination tools].”
Meanwhile, the installation of ‘digital kiosks’ – machines which can carry out lower-level readings of devices at 13 sites across the county, including Preston and Blackpool – has helped ease the pressure on the main DMIU team at the force headquarters at Hutton. Hundreds of divisional officers have been trained in how to use the technology-scanning kit, but still have the option of referring complex cases to their more specialist colleagues.
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