Mo­bile prob­ing kit bids opened by cops

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Yourviews - BY OLIVER CLAY oliver.clay@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @oliv­erclayRWWN

THE dead­line is loom­ing for bids for a Cheshire po­lice equip­ment con­tract worth up to £200,000 aimed at speed­ing up how long it takes to ex­am­ine mo­bile de­vices.

De­tails on the UK Gov­ern­ment ten­der­ing web­site said the con­stab­u­lary is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a rise in front­line of­fi­cers hav­ing to deal with tech­nol­ogy such as SIM cards with de­mand for this type of work ex­pected to con­tinue to in­crease.

The con­tract bul­letin said po­lice need to be able to ex­am­ine mo­bile de­vices, such as smart­phones and tablets, 24 hours a day.

It is hoped im­prov­ing ac­cess to equip­ment for this work will re­duce the num­ber of sus­pects who have to be bailed while their gad­gets are probed and to slash the du­ra­tion of bail.

Other pre­dicted ben­e­fits in­clude slash­ing in­con­ve­nience to vic­tims and wit­nesses when their mo­bile giz­mos need to be looked at, quicker turn­around times for ex­am­in­ing equip­ment and re­duced de­mand on the e-foren­sics team al­low­ing its skilled staff to fo­cus on ‘more com­plex tech­ni­cal ex­am­i­na­tions’.

Dead­line for ap­plica- tions is Jan­uary 16 with the con­tract, worth be­tween £50,000 and £200,000 and to run from April 3, 2017, to March 31, 2019. The ten­der in­vi­ta­tion’s au­thor said: “The vi­sion for Cheshire Con­stab­u­lary is that front-line in­ves­ti­ga­tors will have ac­cess to mo­bile de­vice ex­am­i­na­tion equip­ment at a num­ber of lo­cal sites in­clud­ing cus­tody suites, lo­cal po­lice sta­tions and head­quar­ters.

“A num­ber of trained front-line in­ves­ti­ga­tors will carry out mo­bile de­vice ex­am­i­na­tions on be­half of their col­leagues.

“These trained front­line in­ves­ti­ga­tors will ad­vise col­leagues on what in­for­ma­tion may be ob­tained from mo­bile de­vices, how to pre­serve the ev­i­dence and how to use it to de­velop lines of en­quiry.

“This will en­sure that: waste­ful ex­am­i­na­tions will be pre­vented by a for­malised de­ci­sion-mak­ing process that also en­sures force-wide con­sis­tency; there will be strong gov­er­nance of the equip­ment and pro­ce­dures, with an op­er­a­tional man­ager who is ac­count­able for sus­tain­ing and pro­mot­ing the proper use of the equip­ment; and this vi­sion is con­sis­tent with the po­lice and crime plan pri­or­ity of ‘build­ing on the use of in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy to de­liver bet­ter ser­vices to the com­mu­ni­ties of Cheshire’.”

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