Leiden Law Blog

Ordinary crime? Digital investigation!

Ordinary crime? Digital investigation!

I would really like to tell people about the fact that digital forensics is a very important part of law enforcement today and that there is no way of completely overlooking this aspect of the forensic sciences. Computers are everywhere. Reach into your pocket or bag, do you feel that? That is a computer conveniently disguised as a smart phone. Now of course you are a law-abiding citizen, but just imagine what kinds of information can be found on that device. Most smartphones have gigabytes of information on them. E-mail communication about a deal in illegal substances, Google searches on how you can get rid of a body, Whatsapp messages in which people are threatened or bullied.

Digital forensics - part of almost every crime

Cybercrime is an important research topic nowadays and of course digital forensics are applied there. But in a murder, an assault or an investigation into a cannabis nursery, digital forensics do not spring to most people’s minds. There are other methods of investigation for these kinds of crime that is certainly true. But, experts say, why not combine them with digital forensics. With a GPS system found in the suspects car, it is possible to determine the other places he has been. And this could provide an insight into where other cannabis nurseries are. Or with the use of social media it is possible to quickly get an insight into who the possible suspects are in an assault.

Catch the bad guy (or girl)

In short, digital forensics can really help us to catch the bad guy, to help make charges stick. Furthermore it can now be used easily and quickly in the investigation process with the latest digital programs aimed at detectives and triage tools to reduce the backlog. The information detectives uncover can be used to help steer the investigation. Not only to catch the perpetrator but also to quickly exonerate possible innocent suspects. Because our lives are no longer just in the real world, we also live digital lives. And so do criminals, lets catch them where they live.

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