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Forces urged to use “seamless” accreditation toolkit for on-scene digital forensic examinations

Police forces will soon be able to benefit from an accreditation toolkit for on-scene digital forensic examinations, following an efficiency-boosting package from the NPCC National Cybercrime Programme and Forensic Capability Network (FCN).

The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) has created the digital forensics accreditation toolkit for use by other forces, supported by quality experts in the FCN team.

Its toolkit covers three methods assessed by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS): router downloads, RAM capture and preservation, and file recovery from live systems. To create the toolkit, SEROCU completed end-to-end validation and testing of the three methods and wrote new standard operation procedures.

The activity has been done on behalf of Team Cyber UK, which is running an accreditation programme to bring forces’ on-scene digital forensics up to the required quality standards. Forces must be accredited by October 2022 for conducting on-scene DF examinations, according to the Forensic Science Regulator’s deadlines.

These processes have already been implemented by the West Midlands and East Midlands ROCUs, enabling the forces to conduct verification, competency testing and embed into their existing quality systems with minimal extra work.

Both the South East and West Midlands ROCUs have now submitted applications to UKAS and are waiting to be assessed. Once accreditation is achieved, FCN and Team Cyber UK will make the accreditation toolkit available to all police forces in the network.

One of the forces that implemented the accreditation toolkits said:

“Having the support from the National Cybercrime Programme’s project that was further enabled by the FCN has allowed a seamless integration of the national processes, we have achieved a steady state of operation and are now working in accordance with the national package.

“A few minor local issues left to resolve but our AC2 has already been submitted to UKAS and we feel we are now compliant with the requirements of the ISO, the FSR and UKAS.”

FCN’s Quality Manager, Lee Major, who previously worked as a UKAS Assessment Manager and at Lancashire Police and the Serious Fraud Office, added:

“This work encapsulates FCN’s vision of ‘once for the benefit of many’. SEROCU has done a fantastic job creating this toolkit and it’s already helped the West and East Midlands ROCUs save time and resource. I’d encourage other forces to make the most of this national package when they start working toward accreditation for on-scene DF examinations.”

In more detail, the accreditation toolkit supports the following methods:

  1. Router downloads, for interrogation of domestic and business Wi-Fi/network routers using Forensic Compass and Wireless Network Watcher
  2. RAM capture and preservation from live computer type devices across multiple operating systems – using FTK, Macquisition and Lime
  3. Logical recovery of files from live systems – using FTK and Macquisition

For more information please contact Lee Major or visit our quality and accreditation pages.