A senior detective says new smartphone technology will help cops outsmart Renfrewshire’s most violent offenders.
Chief Detective Inspector Douglas Falconer, who heads the CID and the region’s public protection unit, insists the wearable devices will reduce investigation times and help protect the most vulnerable in the area. community.
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Around 105 detectives across Renfrewshire and Inverclyde are receiving tablets and smartphones designed to enable them to take real-time digital statements from victims and witnesses.
DCI Falconer explained that the kit, which is already in use by uniformed officers, will have a positive impact on the speed and efficiency of more serious crime investigations.
He said: âIn K division you might have a detective sergeant and a team of detectives in Paisley and the incident happens at 3 am in Wymess Bay.
âThe team could go there and instead of having to go back to various offices, they can take and submit statements in real time, which means they spend more time investigating the crime and possibly collecting more. evidence of this crime. “
Samsung devices will allow agents to take photos, which will then be uploaded live to a central system.
This will help protect the integrity of the crime scenes, as detectives will not have to leave and return each time they brief senior officers on the situation.
The images can be used in court to show that the scenes were not compromised in any way.
DCI Falconer has revealed that the photo service has already played its part in the investigation into a suspected homicide in Renfrewshire.
âWe saw the benefit of this during a recent homicide investigation in Renfrewshire.
âIt started out as a minor disturbance in a building. Officers went there and entered a property and found one person who subsequently died.
âThe two frontline officers had the means to take pictures of this scene and immediately knew it was much more serious.
âThe blood they encountered and the guns they saw aroused their suspicion, so the police took a few photos without disturbing too much and then withdrew from this scene.
âThey then inform the CID. CID officers can then look at the photos taken at the scene on the system and see that they are suspicious.
âThese photographs can then lead them to put in place immediate protocols to investigate this crime.
“Without this technology, the CID officers would have to go to the scene, get a briefing from the officers at the scene, then go back to the office, contact the lead investigating officer who would then have to get up and go to the office, get a brief. of the CID and attend the scene.
“In terms of time, depending on the geography, it can take three to four hours.”
He added: âWith this technology, the photographs were seen by the CID, protocols were put in place, WIS sent them the photos and in ten or 15 minutes we were at the head of the investigation.
âOn this occasion, we made a speedy arrest for this particular homicide. Without this technology, this arrest might not have taken place for several days. “