Digital Evidence Boards Help Solve Cases
November 18, 2021 by
Many investigators will tell you that when it comes to data, there are two kinds of trouble: too little or too much. When there’s too little data, this impedes investigations. Too much data is another matter. Finding relationships or connections between persons of interest and places, people, vehicles, and criminal events can be a time-consuming process that involves manually sifting through mountains of data. Many detectives have a caseload that makes such deep analysis impossible.
“We talked to detectives and crime analysts about the challenges they face in this area,” said Steve Lett, senior product owner, Tyler Technologies. What became clear through those conversations was the need to move away from old school crime boards. Using red yarn to trace relationships may still work on TV, but there’s much more power in taking the process digital.
Analytics in Investigations
With digital processes, things typically taking detectives days, weeks, or even months to complete can now be done in a matter of seconds. This is especially promising when public safety is at stake.
Software solutions analyzing data and integrating with an agency’s records management system can surface relevant information in digital evidence boards. These facilitate relationship detection — without the yarn, sticky notes, or other manual methods agencies depended on for years. Because no manual importing is involved, users do not have to be technically skilled or data experts. Investigative software with streamlined, intuitive features empowers detectives and others to explore relevant data on their own, without needing the help of an expert.
Take a convenience store robbery, for example. In a hypothetical scenario, a robbery may have been carried out by a male, but detectives may suspect the female cashier on duty was also involved. If, during the robbery, a witness heard the first name of the male suspect and saw him drive off in a Saturn, the software could search for Saturn owners with that name. Connections with the cashier would also surface, leading to a cluster of information that can bring about the suspect’s capture as well as provide proof of the cashier’s involvement as an insider.
In more urgent situations, such as with an abduction, fast digital analysis can process vast amounts of data to find anyone connected to the victim. Life-saving, swift response can result.
Leveraging the power of integrated technology to quickly surface meaningful connections can help solve more crimes, faster.