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New Zealand's evidence investigation technology a world first

Press release courtesy of New Zealand Police

The New Zealand Police's Electronic Crime Laboratory (ECL) celebrated its 25th anniversary today with the official launch of its new technology, EVE. The Minster of Police, the Hon. Judith Collins and Police Commissioner Howard Broad were among the guests at a ceremony held in the ECL office in Wellington today.

The Environment for Virtualised Evidence (EVE) application is a world first and one of the Police's most successful innovations. EVE allows investigators to examine a seized computer or other storage device on their own computers, using intuitive search tools or a virtual representation of the device, in a way that is forensically safe and does not put any evidence at risk. EVE was developed in-house and without extra staff, equipment or money.

ECL came into existence in 1984. Since then the number of exhibits processed by the ECL has grown from about 40 per year to more than 16,000 in 2004. EVE was developed in response to the need to deal with the growing backlog problem which ranged from 18 months to 2 years. National Manger ECL Maarten Kleintjes says, "I don't know of a crime committed these days that doesn't involve some type of electronic evidence." It is not surprising that the number of computers and other electronic storage devices seized far outweighs the availability of specialists to forensically analyse them.

Police have rolled out EVE nationwide and are providing targeted training for ECL staff and frontline investigators. EVE will improve investigative capability, better positioning Police to manage both current demand and the expected increase in electronic-related crime. "Now police can log on to EVE from anywhere on the police network, and either search the contents using the customised web search facility or, start the computer and use it as a suspect would have used it. This provides a powerful visual tool that will be invaluable in presenting electronic evidence when cases are brought before the courts." Mr Kleintjes said.

Other central government agencies such as New Zealand Customs are trialling EVE with strong interest from other enforcement agencies from around the world.

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