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NPIA pilot speeds up eForensics

The National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) is implementing a six-month pilot to help speed up forensic examinations of technology used by criminals, by providing a more efficient way to manage the numbers of these devices.

eForensics can provide crucial evidence in cases involving child sex images, homicides, domestic violence and fraud. The use of Hi-Tech Crime Units (HTCU) has grown in demand by 300% over the past seven years.

A central unit in Nottingham aims to standardise the process to request an examination by using a single management system. Five HTCUs are involved in the pilot: Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Police officers can contact one of the technology experts from these HTCUs to assess examination requests and receive a priority rating.

Simon Bramble, head of Police Science and Forensics at the NPIA said: “This good practice model is helping forces examine more electronic devices faster, increasing the chances of evidence being found that could be used in court to convict more criminals.

Deputy Chief Constable for the five East Midlands forces, Peter Goodman, said: “The five forces are working together to increase effectiveness and efficiency in order to maintain a quality police service in light of stringent budget cuts.

“We are determined to work with the NPIA to make the most of this important investigation technique to protect the communities of the East Midlands.”

When the pilot ends next year, an event will be held to inform forces of the results and new processes used.

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