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

ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
Suprema Biometric Mass Leak Examined on Aug 19, 2019
While Suprema is rarely discussed even within the physical security market, the South Korean biometrics manufacturer made global news this past...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Aug 13, 2019
Biometrics are commonly used in phones, but how frequently are they used for access? 150+ integrators told us how often they use biometrics,...
Proactive CCTV "Only Affordable Video Archiving Solution" Profile on Aug 12, 2019
Proactive CCTV is claiming to offer "the only affordable video archiving solution on the market", reducing the storage typically required for H.265...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Aug 11, 2019
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...
Razberi Technologies Company Profile on Aug 06, 2019
Razberi says they have doubled their revenue in the first half of 2019, citing their proprietary camera hardening and cybersecurity capabilities...
Avigilon Blue VSaaS Tested on Aug 05, 2019
Avigilon says Blue is a "powerful integrator cloud service platform", easy to set up and configure, quickly scale business, by leveraging cloud...
History of Video Surveillance on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to ab emerging AI cloud era.  The goal of this history is to...
New GDPR Guidelines for Video Surveillance Examined on Jul 18, 2019
The highest-level EU data protection authority has issued a new series of provisional video surveillance guidelines. While GDPR has been in...
Directory of 60 Video Surveillance Startups on Jun 25, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...

Most Recent Industry Reports

TMA Apologizes to Amazon / Ring on Aug 23, 2019
Not only is Amazon / Ring making major incursions into the residential security market, the organization representing the biggest incumbents, The...
China Dahua Replaces Their Software With US Pepper on Aug 22, 2019
What does a US government banned company do to improve its security positioning in the US? Well, Dahua is unveiling a novel solution, partnering...
Security Integrators Outlook On Remaining Integrators In 2025 on Aug 22, 2019
The industry has changed substantially in the last decade, with the rise of IP cameras and the race to the bottom. Indeed, more changes may be...
First GDPR Facial Recognition Fine For Sweden School on Aug 22, 2019
A school in Sweden has been fined $20,000 for using facial recognition to keep attendance in what is Sweden's first GDPR fine. Notably, the fine is...
Anyvision Facial Recognition Tested on Aug 21, 2019
Anyvision is aiming for $1 billion in revenue by 2022, backed by $74 million in funding. But does their performance live up to the hype they have...
JCI Sues Wyze on Aug 21, 2019
The mega manufacturer / integrator JCI has sued the fast-growing $20 camera Seattle startup Wyze. Inside this note: Share the court...
Dahua 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 20, 2019
Dahua's new Pro Series 4K N85CL5Z claims to "deliver superior images in all lighting and environmental conditions", but how does this compare to...
ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
Uniview Beats Intel In Trademark Lawsuit on Aug 19, 2019
Uniview has won a long-running trademark lawsuit brought by Intel, with Beijing's highest court reversing an earlier Intel win, centered on...
Suprema Biometric Mass Leak Examined on Aug 19, 2019
While Suprema is rarely discussed even within the physical security market, the South Korean biometrics manufacturer made global news this past...

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