The long awaited NPCC/DSTL updated procedure has now been released.
This is an important read for our members as it describes the procedures that the police and other law enforcement agencies will use when seizing evidence from your CCTV centre.
Digital imagery, and the audio frequently associated with it, is now an intrinsic part of everyday life and is a key enabling technology for the Police Service and public alike. With this in mind it was time to revise the Digital Imaging Procedure, first published in 2002 and last updated in 2007.
The aim of this latest version is to build on the successes of the original document and not only reflect current advances in technology, but also look to the future. The purpose of the procedure remains the same, i.e. to detail the processes involved in the proper capture and handling of digital data for police applications and to define best working practice. The target audience also remains broad, encompassing operational, administrative and judicial staff involved throughout all stages of the Criminal Justice System (CJS).
The key to the process is the creation of an identifiable, isolated and suitably stored Master reference copy at the earliest opportunity. The exact method of storage is unimportant provided it can be shown that the Master is unchanged from the moment of its definition. With current data trends and retention timescales the most suitable long term solution is a secure network environment.
This procedure enhances the integrity of proper evidential gathering processes whilst reducing the risk of malicious manipulation. Every effort has been made to keep the document as generic and technology neutral as possible, however specific technologies and processes are addressed as necessary and reference given to sources of more in-depth advice.
Digital imaging has enormous benefit for the swift and accurate outcome of investigations, particularly given the fuller use of network technologies. Whilst such technology has a price tag in terms of infrastructure and skilled technical support, this is an enabling document that allows for the adoption of suitable technologies as the opportunities present themselves.
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Copyright: Crown Copyright 2020