New app to help with real time crime scene reporting across borders

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 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 Knowledge Transfer Network included the app 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 with developers KuKu Apps 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.

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.