Advertisement

Police officers are trampling over vital forensic evidence, are under-trained, and often do not know what they are looking for, MPs investigating digital disclosure problems have been told.

Giving evidence to a justice select committee inquiry into failures to hand over material that have led to multiple court cases collapsing, leading digital forensic experts warned of funding shortfalls and inadequate skills.

“One of the problems is the sheer amount of digital evidence the police have to look at,” said Dr Jan Collie, of Discovery Forensics, who specialises in defence work. “You have to consider the cloud [for digital storage], too. There’s evidence everywhere. With cuts in funding, officers don’t have the time to do all that.

“When I first started, the police had their own digital forensic units and knew what they were about. Now you are getting very sketchy evidence. People give me screenshots of pictures of a phone. I need to see [a copy of the] original, be able to repeat and verify tests.”

Read more.

Advertisement
Advertisement