UK Video Forensics Insights

By: Carlton Purvis, Published on Jan 23, 2014

David Spreadborough has been a police officer in the UK for 23 years, a forensic video investigator for 10. In an interview, he shared with us some insights of forensic video investigation from across the pond.

In this interview we discuss:

  • *** ******* **** *****
  • ******* *****
  • *** *** **** **** It's **** ******

Biggest ******* **** ********** *****

***** ** ******* ** video ** ************** ***** from ******* *******. *** biggest ******** ** ****************** **** ********** ***** after * ***** ** the ********* ** **** that ********* ****** *** using.**** ** *** ************* ** ************* ** the ****** ******.

“** *** ******* ***** computer ********* ******, ***** is ******** ** ***** that ****** ** ******* video ********* *******. ****** to **** ** **** all *** ******** **** that ****** **** ***** is ****,” ** ****.

*** ****, **’* **** putting ******** * ******, backward, ********* *********** ******* video ********* ** **** out ******* *** **** record, ** ***** ** extract *****. *** *** case, * ********, *** process **** *** *****.

** **** ***’* ****** out *** ** ******* video **** ** *** lab, ** ***** ************** a *** ****** *** a *** **** ***********.

“** *** *** ** able ** **** *** who *** ******** * storage ****** ** *** engineer *** **** ** may **** ***** ** to ******* *******, ** it *** * ****** in **** ******* ** Taiwan -- **’* **** to ** ** ** the ******* *** **** out,” ** ****.

**** ***** **** *** job **** ******, ** says, ** ** *** manufacturers ******** **** **** for *** *********** ** see *** ******* ** getting *****.

“******** ** **** ****** a *** ******, **’** create ** ******** ******** the ** *** ***** to *****. ********* ***’* put **** *********** [*** to ******* *****] *** there *** **** ******. A *** ************ ****** always **** * *** enforcement ****** ** ***** website. **** ***** ** a ****** ****** ** a ******* *******,” ** said.

**** ***** **** *** job**********, ** ****, ** if *** ************* **** video ** ************ *******.

Old ******* ****** ********

*** ******* ** ** prevalent, ************* ****, *******, in *** ***** ****, many ********* *** *** have ****** *************. “** ***** come ****** ***** *********. They *** **** ** 10 ***** *** *** were ***** ******** ** have ** ****** *** data. *******, * *** of ********* *** ******* the **** **** **** need ** ** **** to *** *** ******** to *** ***********,” ** said.

Forensic ************* *** **** ** ******* ***** ** ***** *****

“******* ** * *** is ********* **** ** know. ******* **’* **** the ***** **** *** been *********. ** *** recover *** ***** ****, but ** **** ***’* recover *** *****. ** we’d **** ** **** worth ** ******* **** 16 ******* *** ** idea **** **’** ******* at ******* *** ***** is ****,” ** ****. He **** ***** **** empty ****** **** *** somehow ********* *** ******* is **** * **** sign.

Video **** ********** ******* *****But even without the video available, there are still times where ********* ***** **** ** contained** **** ** **********.

** **** ** *** instances ***** ***** **** would ** ********** ******* the ****** *****: * judge *** **** * person ** ** ****** on * ********** ***** if **** **** ******* the ***** ******** ** times *** * ****.

“******* **** **** ******* it *** ***** **** than *** **** ***, the ***** ***** ***** view ** *** ***** as ** ****** *******. It ***** *** *** time **** ******* *** video **** *** **** in *****,” ** ****.

******* ******** ** ** an ******* *** ***** detailed ***** ** * video ****** *** ******* is ****, **** *** notes *** ********** ** an ******** ******.

Who ****** ****** *****?

* ***** *** ** it *** ********* *** end ***** ** ****** video ** ** *** police ********* ** ** it **********.

*** ***** ***** ******, as **** ** *** person ********* ***** **** they’re ***** *** ******* correctly, ***** *** ******* no ******. *** ****** level *********, ************* **** usually *** *** ***** forensics **** ** ******* on ******* **** ****** pull ** ** ** the *** **** ******.

“*** **** ******* ****, we’ll ******** ** **** a ** ** ******** of *** **** *** recover *** ******* ********,” he ****. **** ******** includes *********** *** ********** the *** *** ** when ** *** ****** and *** ******** ******.

**** ********** ********** ***** the *** ********* **** marks ** *** ***** heads, ****-****** ******** *** seals. **** **** **** the *********** ** *** unit.

“*** ** *** ***** things * ** [** a **** ********] ** see *** *** ** is. ****’* *** * gauge ******* *’* ***** to ***** ** **** and **** ** **** me. *** ****** * drive **, *** **** likely **’* ***** ** power ** *****.”

Power ** ***** *********

************* **** **** ** contrast ** *** *.*., in *** **, * warrant ***’* ******** ** seized * ***** ************ system ** ****** ******* it ******** ******** ** a ***** ***** ********* *** ******** ******** Act, *** ** ** years, **’* ***** *** to *** **** *****. End ***** *** ****** willing ** ******* ***** or ****. *** *** ones **** ****’* *** be *********.

“** **** ******* *** DVRs **** ** *** in *********** **** ** seize ********* ** *** premises ****’* **** ******* surveillance. ** **’** ******* their **** *** * long ****** ** ****, we’ll *** **** * new ***. ** **** buy ***** *** ** two * ****. **** of *** **** ** can *** ** **** to ****,” ** ****. “Usually **** * ******* the ****** ** **** and **** **’** ** putting ** * *** one **** *** ****.”

Cloud ******* * ****

********* *** **** ** ***** ********* *** ***-**** *******, *** Spreadborough **** **** ***** things **** *********** *** forensics *************. **'* ****** for ************* ** **** take *** *** *** have ******** ****** ** the ****.

Comments (6)

A curiosity for me. If Law enforcement can seize recorders to analyze the video, what if the recorder is running on a virtual system and seizing the actual hardware may also mean loss to the company for other services run on the same hardware but different virtual machines.

Are image backups acceptable to law enforcement? That is to say, we prefer not to give you the whole computer due to its function but we can do an image for you.

We're talking about the UK. They use tube cameras and 8 tracks to record video there....

John wasn't too far off but we are getting there! The difference here is that we have had surveillance video for quite some time and rather than a lot of new IP HD networks, the majority are old analogue setups with a DVR replacing the VHS deck and multiplexer.

If I can't pull the DVR because the data is on a linked server, or similar, then we may have to use external storage and then conduct a number of validation tests to confirm that the copied data is intact.

In large exports, we conduct a staged download, with the most important first and work from there.

A recent problematic system was a tower PC where the entire stores tills, ordering and surveillance was on the PC. Luckily all data was stored on a seperate internal drive, but getting it meant turning off the entire store. copying over 2TB of data would have taken ages but a quick swap out took the time to drink a cup of coffee.

If image backups are done then some sort of copy verification should be completed to prove they are a bit for bit copy.

Very interesting article. thanks.

I would love to hear David's opinion as for how does he view the problem of searching the video content itself. I assume than searching hours of video in a manual manner can be a pain. Does he use any method for having his searches done more effectivly?

Ariel

Hi Ariel,

You are right - it's a complete pain in the .....

The logging and searching of video data could be split into three seperate incidents.

  1. Realtime using operator input or automated analytics
  2. Post event using the original system either on-site or remotely
  3. After export, back in the Police Dept. or Video Lab

If an integrated system has the ability to log events in realtime such as movements, direction of travel, vehicle colours etc then this is great but, this has to be exported with the video data, and the ability to use the analytical data has to be possible away from the scene/system.

A lot of Systems / DVR's have analytical services included but its sometimes not possible to operate it and use the system on-site.

In the last point you have two common types.

The first is that the footage has to be reviewed to search for an event linked to an incident. That could be a person running from a scene or a vehicle driving past.

The period of time to search and the actual event captured is also commonly not known. It is always a manual task to identify the search parameters and then review that camera, logging events of note until that viewer hits the jackpot.

The most difficult ones are when there are unclear directions of travel and perhaps a large timescale. When that viewer finds the target vehicle / person captured by a stores front door camera at 0400hrs - it can be a real breakthrough and that one image can dictate the entire direction of an investigation.

The second is when there are many events. A common one is thefts by an employee etc. These can be very time consuming and are used to show a pattern of intent.

Other times are when someones actions and behavior changes. A person enters a store every morning at 0900hrs. Then after an incident, they dont show up. It all builds the picture but finding it all takes time.

Effective searching comes down to intelligence led parameters. These parameters are then changeable as further intel / evidence comes to light. Its common knowledge that in the first few hours after the London Bombings, the location parameters were the entire UK!

So, at the start of an investigation we may grab as much as possible but as certain incidnets are discovered, decisions are made that negate further work.

After saying all that though I have been involved in many cases, where weeks worth of footage has been painstakingly viewed but the 3 frames of video found have made it all worthwhile.

There are a few tools now available to ingest video, set certain parameters and then have a large amount automated. For specific sites and footage these are useful but for the majority they can be more of a hindrence. As the technology improves and those functions are built in to systems the situation will improve.

Hope that helps a little?

Hi David

Thanks for the comprehensive and insightful answer.

For your information, I am working for a technology company that develops some analytic tools to search specific events from recorded video. Obviously such tool cannot solve a crime immediatly, and still requires the decision making process of the investigator. However, we do believe that we can remendously help a video investigator in his search task.

I'd appreciate if you could contact me directly at af@agentvi.com so we can discuss this further.

Best regards

Ariel

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Startup Vaion Launching End-to-End AI Solution Backed with $20 Million Funding on Jun 17, 2019
An EU / USA video surveillance startup, Vaion, founded by ex-Cisco Senior Directors is launching an end-to-end VSaaS platform with $20 million in...
Embattled $400 Million China Funded Philippines Surveillance System Proceeds on Jun 13, 2019
An embattled 12,000 camera surveillance system project that will cost ~$400 million will proceed.  The project contract was awarded, had its...
Directory of 30+ VSaaS / Cloud Video Surveillance Providers on Jun 07, 2019
This directory provides a list of VSaaS / cloud video surveillance providers to help you see and research what options are available. 2019 State...
Startup Rhombus Systems Says Twice the Features, Half the Price of Verkada on Jun 04, 2019
Closed cloud systems may be the fastest growing segment of video surveillance with Meraki and Verkada. Now another California company is joining...
China / US Trade War Impact Splits Industry on Jun 04, 2019
As the trade war continues to heat up, 170+ integrators told us "What impact will the US / PRC China conflict have on the industry?" Respondents...
Smart CODEC Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 03, 2019
Smart codecs are now nearly a standard feature in IP cameras, but our statistics show integrator adoption has not increased at the same rate. In...
OWAL Startup Profile - Ex-Googler Cloud AI Video Platform on May 29, 2019
OWAL, a NYC-based startup developing AI video analytics, is aiming to "improve the quality of life" within high-rise apartments, and commercial...
Verkada Favorability Results 2019 on May 29, 2019
Verkada has taken the industry by storm with the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever and a half billion dollar valuation....
China Jaywalking Facial Recognition Guide on May 27, 2019
News reports touting the PRC's AI prowess often showcase facial recognition cameras being used to automatically catch and fine jaywalkers.  In...
Kidnapping Victim Rescued With Video From Ring Doorbell Camera on May 24, 2019
A kidnapping victim was rescued within 24 hours, with the police crediting video from a Ring Doorbell camera as key to solving the case. A girl was...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...
Startup Vaion Launching End-to-End AI Solution Backed with $20 Million Funding on Jun 17, 2019
An EU / USA video surveillance startup, Vaion, founded by ex-Cisco Senior Directors is launching an end-to-end VSaaS platform with $20 million in...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 17, 2019
While face and fingerprint recognition are used regularly for smartphones, it is not as common in physical security. In this note, we examine...
The Scheme Hikvision and China Importers Use To Avoid Tariffs on Jun 17, 2019
Hikvision and numerous China importers are avoiding 25% tariffs by including an SD card slot in their IP cameras to claim they are 'digital still...
Sighthound Transforms Into Enterprise AI Provider Profile on Jun 14, 2019
Sighthound is now rapidly expanding its R&D team, building an enterprise AI service. This may come as a surprise given their origins 6 years...
ADT Eliminating Acquired Brands, Unifying Under 'Commercial' Brand on Jun 14, 2019
ADT is eliminating the brands of the many integrators it has acquired over the past few years, including Red Hawk, Aronson Security Group (ASG),...
NSA Director Keynoting Dahua and Hikvision Sponsored Cybersecurity Conference [Canceled] on Jun 13, 2019
The technical director for the NSA’s Cybersecurity Threat Operations Center will be keynoting a physical security cybersecurity conference that is...
Farpointe Data Conekt Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jun 13, 2019
California based Farpointe Data has been a significant OEM supplier of conventional access readers for years to companies including DMP, RS2, DSX,...
Embattled $400 Million China Funded Philippines Surveillance System Proceeds on Jun 13, 2019
An embattled 12,000 camera surveillance system project that will cost ~$400 million will proceed.  The project contract was awarded, had its...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact