The Ten Point Forensic Image Plan

How to Catch Criminals Caught on Camera – AND convict them

To make CCTV & other unidentified images (for example from mobile phones) produce results, ALL of the below listed are required. Simply providing technology will result in a few dedicated officers utilising images, but many thousands of opportunities to target criminals being missed.

The Plan

  1. Dedicated Local Forensic Image Unit (VIIDO) – less than 1% of police officers in a police force. These officers need to be trained in technical matters AND have investigative experience. They visit scenes of crime & gather images – they are Forensic Image Scenes of Crimes Officers. The unit also provides support to officers, who need to view CCTV & other images during investigations or at court.
  2. Partnership with all CCTV providers – not just council CCTV control rooms. Businesses, transport systems, banks, shops & many other premises can provide CCTV. Consideration should be given to using a Facewatch system or similar, where businesses can submit non-violent, volume crime suspect images from CCTV direct to police via the internet – allowing officers to focus their time on circulation, identification & arrest (rather than viewing hours of footage).
  3. Systematic identification process – a force circulation unit OR regional one, especially when a smaller force may attract criminals from a neighbouring city area. The FILM (Forensic Image Linking & Management) database has been critical in the success of the MetCU (Metropolitan Police Image Circulation Unit). Police network needs to be able to move moving images.
  4. Technology fit for purpose – link facial recognition, logo recognition & the “mug shot” database to FILM to ensure that crimes are linked & suspects identified as quickly as possible.
  5. Dedicated Identification Officers, who proactively show images to officers & partners & ensure that officers dealing with criminal informants also show them images. The FILM database allows bespoke “Caught on Camera” editions to be produced, so that images can be bespoke for the audience (e.g. crime type / location / criminals) – so the time of officers viewing can be maximised.
  6. Police Super Recognisers are located & retained on their area of expertise, even when promoted. A register of Super Recognisers should be maintained & used by officers investigating serious crime when they have an unidentified image – this ensures that the best officers see the image first & the chance of multiple false idents is reduced. A team of Super Recognisers is available at Force HQ for pro-active deployment and to conduct the following tactics on images – “Face Snap” (matching a suspect to several crimes by images), “Custody Snap” (matching to other crimes, when under arrest) and “Domino” (in an offence with multiple offenders, using the name of a known suspect to identify the others by their images).
  7. Police officers trained to use image evidence appropriate to role – patrol, detective or senior investigator.
  8. Performance culture & end-to end tracking of idents – a police force needs to manage unidentified images in the same manner as they track fingerprint & DNA identifications. FILM & the police crime reporting system can be used in conjunction for this purpose.
  9. Communication strategy to publicise images within and outside the police force to increase identifications AND show the public see that CCTV is producing results to make them safer. Use of media, Crimestoppers, Facewatch App and internet.
  10. Lawyers trained to use images & courts able to play footage

NFR Ltd can help you achieve this end to end system.

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