New app for real time crime scene reporting across borders

Posted by ap507 at Oct 12, 2015 11:10 AM |
Technology to speed up forensic investigations demonstrated at international innovation showcase

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 12 October 2015

Contact pressoffice@le.ac.uk to request images.

A revolutionary app that allows scene of crime officers to record evidence centrally in real time, thus speeding up crime scene investigations, has been celebrated at a flagship innovation event.

The Scene of Crime app, developed by Dr John Bond OBE and Dr Lisa Smith from the University of Leicester’s Department of Criminology, indexes samples, attaches photos, creates labels and communicates with central databases in real time to generate crime reports. It can be used on handheld devices such as tablets.

The app has already made a real impact: the Knowledge Transfer Network included it as one of ten technologies to be featured at the 2015 Forensic Science Special Interest Group (SIG) Technology Showcase, the UK’s flagship event to promote promising forensic science technologies to an international audience, on 8 October.

Dr Bond developed the app in response to a number of crime scene investigation needs. The accurate recording of a crime scene is vital in the pursuit of a successful conviction, but maintaining the chain of evidence is time consuming.  The officers need to record evidence and observations at a crime scene and then later transcribe their findings to form reports. The app automates this process, removes the current duplication of work and reduces the chance of errors.

In the US, a number of police forces are already exploring the use of mobile technology for recording crime scenes — but without any consistency between states and reduced functionality, their use is limited. Dr Bond’s app, which has been developed in consultation with UK and US police forces, can work across regional and national boundaries and it can also be tailored to the specific demands of the area and across a range of devices and operating systems.

Dr John Bond, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, said: “The accurate and consistent recording of a crime scene has always been problematic and this new app not only overcomes those issues but also removes the need to re-key crime scene data into other police systems.”

The University of Leicester worked with Nottinghamshire-based app developers, KuKu Apps, to design the software. KuKu Apps have previously worked with the Department of Criminology to produce course materials and enabled the Scene of Crime app to be developed further and made more appealing to industry and other funders.

Lucy Herreras-Griffiths, Managing Director of KuKu Apps, said "It's a challenge to be able to impact the everyday working day of SOC teams by enabling the process to be more accurate and timely. We really enjoy working with forward-thinking individuals such as Dr Bond as we aim to be at the cutting edge of technology. We were very happy to be one of ten 2015 Forensic Science SIG Technology Showcase exhibitors."

Ends

Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr John Bond e-mail: jwb13@le.ac.uk

Kuku Apps helps you to be recognised as a leader in improving the learning experience through digital tools.

From higher education course, through to business training, Kuku's design-led approach creates apps that provide the perfect marriage of form and functionality, yet remain at the cutting edge of technology.

As a pioneer in the sector Kuku Apps created the first ever iPad app to deliver a university course and continues to work with some of the UK's leading and most forward-thinking universities, as well as the NHS and National Space Centre.

With a proven track record of app delivery using the company's proprietary software, Kuku Apps leads the market delivering learning through apps.

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is the UK’s innovation network. It brings together businesses, entrepreneurs, academics and funders to develop new products, processes and services. KTN is free to join and is funded by Innovate UK.

Established to foster better collaboration between science, creativity and business, KTN has specialist teams covering all sectors of the economy – from defence and aerospace to the creative industries, the built environment to biotechnology and robotics. KTN has helped thousands of businesses secure funding to drive innovation.

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