Overcome delays in accessing evidence from mobile devices

XRY Kiosk– built to prevent delays in access to evidence from mobile devices

In the Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2013/14 published today by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary , concerns were raised regarding the forensic support capabilities available to officers to ensure vital evidence from mobile devices was provided in a timely manner. This concern focused on the significant delays in receiving evidence back from forensic support services which has failed to keep pace with the growing demand for phone analysis.

In particular the report highlighted:

2.54 – The forensic support services available to officers have not kept pace with the ways in which crimes are now committed. This is especially so in relation to technology. Officers told HMIC that in most investigations, they need to be able to retrieve from seized digital devices (whether a mobile phone, tablet or computer) data and information in ways that meet the standards of admissible evidence in court. This is done by trained and specialist staff. Officers told of significant delays in receiving evidence from digital devices. The absence of this evidence can cause unacceptable delays in investigations and prosecutions. This problem has an adverse effect on police officers’ ability to investigate the crimes that affect the public every day. It is not acceptable that evidential material that happens to be stored digitally cannot be made available to investigating officers for weeks, and sometimes months, after the crime. Forces cannot be properly effective without timely access to evidence held on mobile and other devices.

Source: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/wp-content/uploads/state-of-policing-13-14.pdf

There are now more mobile devices in circulation than people in the world and as use of these devices, and accompanying applications, continues to expand rapidly, so too will the use of digital forensics as an invaluable tool for gathering evidence of crimes.

MSAB is the manufacturer of the mobile forensic tool XRY which is used by over 95% of UK law enforcement agencies. We are well aware of the growing demand currently being placed on the police. The potential volumes of evidence available usually far exceed the operational capabilities of specialist officers in traditional organizational structures to acquire it quickly and efficiently in order to meet the time requirements of day to day crime investigations.

To meet the next generation of demand for rapid and immediate access to evidence – MSAB has introduced the XRY KIOSK to help officers on the frontline, get mobile evidence faster than ever before:

The Kiosk unit is purpose built for ease of use and forensic integrity, to allow frontline police officers access to the contents of mobile devices within minutes. Designed to be installed at a local police station and used by multiple officers through the use of secure access – officers can see the contents as soon as the examination is complete to allow for quicker decision making.

Recently there have been a number of high profile cases where cutting-edge digital forensics tools have played a key role.  In the Oscar Pistorius trial, Reeva Steenkamp admitted to being scared of the South African track star in a message three weeks before he shot her dead.  In a WhatsApp conversation in January of 2103, Ms. Steenkamp wrote: “I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me.”  Thanks to XRY this evidence was recovered and used by the South African Police which including over 35,000 pages worth messages between the couple.

In England & Wales police officers have powers to seize and search mobile devices as evidence in the correct circumstances provided they have reasonable grounds to believe they may contain evidence of a crime. As the number of smartphone messaging apps continues to explode, it is essential that investigators have tools that can allow them keep pace and afford them access to the latest data.  More and more, investigators are turning to technologies like XRY that ensure they have seamless access to not just the latest apps but also the latest versions of those apps.

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