• Australia (English)

Microsoft for Public Safety & National Security

Digitizing the crime scene

06 January 2012 | Jennifer Steele, Senior Marketing Manager, Worldwide Public Sector

Working a crime scene will never be the same.

Technologies once reserved for fictional hit TV shows like NCIS and CSI are making their way into actual investigations, revolutionizing law enforcement’s ability to collect and analyze essential crime scene data. The latest digital forensics tools capture evidence more efficiently, more accurately, and help investigators connect the dots like never before.

The Netherlands is leading the way in this digital revolution through the work of the Netherlands Forensics Institute (NFI). In this Digital Forensics video from the last Worldwide Public Safety Symposium, Erica Rietveld, Department Head with NFI uses a take-off on the television series CSI to showcase some of these game-changing technologies, including:

  • Head-mounted devices that record a crime scene, scanning for important details and storing that data automatically.
  • Hand-held scanners to create an instant 3D image of a victim, scene, or object.
  • Thermal cameras that show heat traces even after the source of the heat has been removed.
  • Online availability for help ascertaining how to collect data from certain types of evidence.
  • Spectral cameras that detects traces of blood and protein.
  • Digitally collected evidence that can be recreated in a special projector room in 3D, which creates situational awareness that can be used to test witness statements and clarify the situation for judges and prosecutors.

The video begins about 18 minutes into the presentation, after Rietveld discusses some of the progress the NFI has made in extracting data from damaged or encrypted devices, analyzing terabytes of data quickly to make it available to investigators as efficiently as possible, and interpreting that data.

The future is here. Forensic investigators and law enforcement officials are increasingly able to collect high volumes of crime data in tremendously innovative ways, and are using it to more efficiently identify criminals and keep the public safe. You can still watch CSI, but just know that public safety officials across the globe are catching up fast.

Have a comment or opinion on this post or a question for the author? Let me know @MicrosoftPSNS or email us at safetyanddefense@microsoft.com.

Jennifer Steele
Senior Marketing Manager, Worldwide Public Sector

Microsoft on Safety and Defense Blog posts

About the Author

Jennifer Steele | Senior Marketing Manager, Worldwide Public Sector

Jennifer’s focus is on public safety and national security. She joined the Microsoft worldwide team from Avanade, the world’s largest Microsoft consultancy, where she led field marketing for the Americas geography.