EDisclosure and forensics services provider CY4OR have an interesting article on their smart new web site about the use of CCTV to catch criminals in the act. Much of the article is about a CCTV network which has been established in London in time for the Olympics. Another example involves the capture of cash machine fraudsters.
There were interesting articles in the press last summer about how the police use such footage. The quality increases all the time, and those of us who are used to the alarmingly good facial recognition powers of domestic photograph archiving software will not be surprised to know of its application to video footage. As with document review, human skills are used alongside the technology – after the London riots, the police identified staff with a particular aptitude for recognising faces, and many of the convictions resulted from their work.
Such evidence may be useful beyond criminal proceedings. One of my seminar slides, aimed at reminding civil litigation lawyers that disclosable evidence comes in many forms, includes a picture of a CCTV camera. A “document” is defined in Rule 31.4 CPR as “anything in which information of any description is recorded”, and this clearly includes CCTV evidence which might easily be overlooked in the context of civil proceedings. I know of a case in which the security cameras provided the vital evidence that an employee had taken away client files – paper files, that is – just before moving to a new employer.
CY4OR’s new web site is full of useful stuff. They now offer, for example, a CPD-accredited eDisclosure seminar given by Nick Pollard, Head of eDisclosure and Litigation Support, which can be held at your offices.