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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
R2S Crime – a ground breaking system set to revolutionise the police approach to scenes of crime – has been developed by an Aberdeen-based technology company, MaxIMT, in collaboration with Grampian Police.
The new evidence gathering, data recording and access system is a world first. The software allows detailed analysis of a crime scene, linking video footage, photographs, DNA, fingerprints and other forensic information. The ease of analysis of this vital evidence expedites the investigation of major crime.
“R2S (Return to Scene) Crime” has already been purchased by a major US investigation bureau and UK and European police forces have expressed a great deal of interest in the technology after it was demonstrated at the annual ACPO exhibition in Birmingham last year. The software has recently been awarded a prestigious technology award in Germany.
R2S Crime allows the user to view pictures of the crime scene from various vantage points, which can be moved through 360 degrees in all directions. Pictures are taken using a “Spheron” camera, which has the capability to produce spherical images of a whole room. Areas that are difficult to see, such as dark corners, can be enhanced. In addition, “hot spots” can be inserted to show the position of fingerprints, footprints, DNA or other forensic evidence. Once this forensic evidence has been identified, the person’s details can be inserted. Detailed photographs and short video clips can also be inserted to show and explain evidence in more detail.
The R2S technology has evolved from a range of products originally designed by MaxIMT for the international oil and gas markets and the real estate sector. MaxIMT has worked very closely with Grampian Police throughout R2S’s development, to ensure the product meets the high standards and demands required in a major criminal investigation.
Assistant Chief Constable Pat Shearer who is responsible for Grampian’s operational policing, commented: “I am delighted that Grampian Police has played a key role in the development of this new technology, which is now attracting world wide attention. It demonstrates the benefits which can be achieved by working in partnership with the private sector. We pride ourselves on our use of technology – everything from the recent introduction of facial recognition technology to our state of the art service centre – and as this major development shows, we have world class talent and expertise working here.”
Andrew Rolph, Head of Grampian Police’s Identification Bureau and a former Detective Inspector, has worked closely with MaxIMT throughout the development of the project.
He said: “R2S enables us to convey the relevance and status of forensic evidence from a major crime scene to a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), in a much clearer and simpler way. When a major enquiry is running the SIO has to maintain an overview of all aspects of the enquiry, so anything which makes information easy to access and review is invaluable. Previously, we would have had to prepare numerous reports to explain how the forensic evidence all linked together – now it can all be shown together on a computer screen.”
He added: “We have used R2S successfully at three recent murders in our force area, and have found it to be very easy to use and of enormous help in piecing together the details of the crime and assisting in the investigation.
“R2S Crime significantly reduces the time and costs associated with solving serious crime. With over thirty years’ police experience, I believe R2S Crime is one of the most exciting advances in crime detection that I have seen.”