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Met Police Eye Drone Surveys, 3D Printing for Crime Scene Analysis

Simulation dynamics and rapid prototyping will allow investigators to create 3D computer models of crime scenes

By claudia glover

A new market engagement exercise by the Met Police gives a sneak preview into some of the unique ways in which it is planning to use emerging tech, from spinning up 3D computer models of crime scenes, through to drone surveys and rapid prototyping/3D printing. The tender, which will be worth around £1.5 million, is for support services to the Met’s Computer Aided Modelling Bureau (CAMB)

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Amongst the obligatory data storage updates is also a look at some of the technology being used to update the London crime scene analysis process. 3D CAD modelling will design and build realistic computer models while drone surveys and mobile LiDAR, mobile mapping and topography tech, will help build accurate 3D versions of the crime scene. Simulation dynamics and rapid prototyping will allow investigators to create representations of the objects within their 3D crime scene model.

“CAMB routinely undertake, on behalf of the investigating team the management and direction of all aspects of the survey requirement for an operation, and they have expertise in the accurate measurement and reconstruction of the built environment” the public information notice published Friday notes.

This includes:

  • “On-site/scene surveying and data capture
  • “Representing crime scenes as 2D plan drawings or 3D computer models
  • “Analytical interrogation of spatial data (e.g. exhibit locations, lines of sight, witness accounts, forensic evidence, exploring scenarios, etc.)
  • Presentation of 2D and 3D data in court.

Met Police Forensics Tech

The Met’s strategy report 2018-25 details the “operational benefits of advances on technology forensics and analytics”, and how it plans to take advantage of them:

Innovations in policing “will be achieved through new capabilities and ways of working, including better understanding where emerging technologies can work alongside our people to generate better decisions”.

The report emphasises a “growing skills gap when it comes to digital investigation, forensics, intelligence and insight” however, adding: “This gap is made more critical by the increased self-service expectations now placed on officers. It is clear that the adept use of data and modern scientific techniques is no longer a capability which we should expect to remain the preserve of specialist teams and departments”

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