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Advertorial: Disclosure for a digital age

Law enforcement software provider Chorus is making full digital disclosure achievable for investigators and those involved in the justice system through its new tool, Chorus Investigator.

Communication overload: Add a couple of device downloads to a case and all of a sudden deciphering it and identifying relevant material becomes a mammoth job

Communication overload: Add a couple of device downloads to a case and all of a sudden deciphering it and identifying relevant material becomes a mammoth job

Date - 9th October 2019
By - Police Oracle

In a recent report, the Crown Prosecution Service stated the number of cases dropped due to failures in disclosure had increased by 40 per cent since 2013.

This is no doubt largely due to the amount of digital data involved in even the smallest of cases.

Add a couple of device downloads to a case and all of a sudden deciphering it and identifying relevant material becomes a mammoth job. Just 1GB of data equates to 20,000 pieces of paper.

What forces require is an approach that doesn’t tie up valuable public resources sifting through vast quantities of data and ensures all participants can have confidence that all data has actually been searched for relevant material to ensure a fair trial.

Full digital disclosure

Full disclosure is very hard to achieve. It takes time to collect and process data in such a way that the CPS is satisfied.

Chorus Investigator can make a huge difference to the quality and speed of disclosure. It has a number of features such as filters, keyword searching and entity reports that make it easy for those involved in a case to tick the boxes that the courts require.

Ingesting data

Firstly, having all your data in one place is of great benefit to investigators who often express discontent for having to log into multiple systems to work on a case.

Chorus Investigator has a drag and drop feature so communications data – ANPR data and device downloads as well as images and chat from a number of different social media platforms – can be loaded and analysed to help answer those key investigation questions.

Keyword searching

Chorus helps narrow the focus of an investigation quickly and easily. A date filter and subject filter can be applied to set the parameters according to what is currently known to minimise the risks of collateral intrusion.

The real benefit comes in the keyword search function where terms can be identified and searched on with results displayed instantly in a timeline format detailing what was said, when, via what platform and from which device.

Combining data

If call data records are available then the location of any SMS messages can be plotted instantly on a map with GPRS events such as a Whatsapp also plotted around the time a message was sent according to the device data.

Images taken on the device can also be dropped into the software and used to place a thumbnail on the map of where that photo was taken with the meta data used to add labels that detail the date and time and the device used.

All of these elements can greatly assist in building up a clear picture of what happened around the time of an alleged offence.

Case study: Demonstrating full disclosure in the UK’s largest ever modern slavery case

West Midlands Police recently cracked the largest modern slavery ring ever found in the UK and reported that Chorus was used heavily to analyse the data and achieve full disclosure.

The net result of the four-year-long Operation Fort, which exposed a Polish organised crime gang running a human trafficking ring exploiting more than 400 vulnerable people, put 13 offenders behind bars for a total of 55 years.

The investigation involved 650,000 lines of communications data including 80 handsets, live evidence from victims, 1,500 statements, and more than 4,000 exhibits including bank statements.

Chorus was crucial in corroborating the victim accounts with the digital evidence, allowing the jury to see the full picture.

In trials totalling 29 weeks, not one disclosure issue was put before the court.

It was a truly fantastic piece of work by West Midlands Police that prevented hundreds more vulnerable people from being trafficked and harmed.

Chorus brings clarity and confidence to those conducting and involved in the investigation that every line of enquiry and every possible piece of relevant evidence has been disclosed to ensure the correct outcome of the case.

Add in the ability to do this easily and in a fraction of the time it would take to do manually and you have a tool purposely designed to meet the needs of a modern investigation and help prevent cases being discontinued through disclosure failings.

If you would like to learn more about Chorus and how it is supporting law enforcement then visit its website https://chorusintel.com, or email info@chorusintel.com

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