Northgate and AGX helping to speed up crime detection with forensic software

27 July 2014

Crime detection is becoming more digitised with new technology from Northgate Public Services, AGX and Pattern Analytics, who are working together to help speed up evidence gathering from crime scenes with the help of new software, FIBRE.

Surrey and Sussex Police Forces have joined together to develop the new technology, which can speed up the justice process by providing forensic information more quickly and directly.

From crime scene to court, the process is much quicker as FIBRE will allow forensic information to be recorded, transmitted, viewed, processed and stored from the crime scene right up to the legal process. Evidence from a crime scene such as fingerprints and potentially footprints can be recorded digitally and stored for evidence at subsequent trials.

Other methods have involved several stages to record the information, whereas FIBRE, developed by AGX and Pattern Analytics, is a digital image management system, taking fit for purpose images from the crime scene into the fingerprint bureau and footwear unit. While over 37 police forces across the country are already using Northgate’s Socrates technology, which is excellent for tracking exhibits through the end to end process, it does not have an image management capability. AGX FIBRE adds this capability to the solution.

With the police service within the UK arresting and forensically processing 1.4m people per year, recovering significant amounts of forensic evidence that requires analysis, the Association of Chief Police Officers has stressed that it is vital that the momentum of research and innovation is continued and intensified to keep pace with criminal activities that are becoming increasingly sophisticated. This new FIBRE technology provides live-time forensics, which helps to reduce the delay between the information and evidence gathering process and the identification and subsequent arrest and conviction of offenders.

Steve Mewett, Manager, Forensic Identification Services Unit with Surrey and Sussex  Police, said: "The linking of the Socrates and FIBRE systems will help remove the administrative burden from practitioners and offer more efficient control of the 'evidential journey'. The removal of double keying between the different technologies will add considerable value to the end user and undoubtedly speed up processes which will consequently help us meet the Home Office's 'faster forensics' objectives.”

Richard Kemp, Director from AGX said: “We are delighted to be working with Northgate Public Services to develop this product for police forces such as Surrey and Sussex, where they have already found the system invaluable to their detection and forensic work. Collaboration between our companies can only deliver a positive customer experience as forces seek to share forensic resources efficiently.”

Ian Blackhurst, Northgate’s Executive Director, Solutions said: “We are actively seeking out and working with experts in their field such as AGX to help us deliver innovation and optimisation for our customers. In this case, integrating AGX is enabling us to deliver live time forensics through a fast and seamless process. This leads to better use of police resources and time and ultimately better detection of crime.”

In addition to working with AGX, Northgate is also looking to work with a number of other technology companies to develop similar systems to integrate with Socrates, for the benefit of other forces.