Queensland Police Service introduces digital evidence system

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has rolled out a new storage system to house electronic evidence including child exploitation images and videos.

The Statewide Access to Seized Digital Evidence (SASDE) project uses an EMC offering called Isilon which was implemented on 9 August this year.

Speaking at a media briefing in Sydney, QPS child safety and sexual crime group Acting Inspector Craig Weatherly said that the system, which can store up to one petabyte of material, will help it better respond to investigations involving digital evidence.

“The goal of the SASDE project is to identify victims, solve crimes, minimise the likelihood of failed prosecutions and reduce the time taken to have evidence available to our investigators,” he said.

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  • With the exponential growth of child exploitation material across the world, Weatherly said it was seizing more digital evidence across the state.

    “In the child exploitation space, we treat every photograph as a crime scene.”

    He added that Isilon can be scaled up to store more material as the QPS collects digital evidence. It is required by law to store archives for up to 75 years.

    Prior to using the new system, evidence was stored in servers at QPS headquarters but time taken to get the evidence back out became an issue.

    “We had to send digital packages and USB sticks across the state so the timeliness was not there,” he said. “This product will help us piggyback on to the Queensland Police network so investigators can view images straight away.

    “In collecting the images, the more timely and effective way we can respond gives us every opportunity to identify victims and perpetrators.”

    The automated system uses photo DNA technology to analyse images and can even restore photos which have been cropped or otherwise changed.

    According to Weatherly there are approximately 5 million child exploitation images on the Internet.

    He added that QSP works collaboratively with Internet service providers, Facebook and Google to identity underground child exploitation sites.

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