The BBC and other outlets reported this week that Scotland have invested in a first-of-its-kind digital evidence management system through Axon technology. The system, called Digital Evidence Sharing Capability (DESC), will give police, lawyers, and the courts access to a single unified database of evidence.
Through collaboration between Scottish courts, government and police at a national level, we’re now seeing cases move in hours instead of weeks and months”
CEO Rick Smith, Axon
Among many benefits, the new system will mean reduced burdens for victims and freed up time for police officers with faster, more efficient sharing and management of digital evidence throughout the justice system. Those involved with criminal cases will be able to achieve resolution and move on in a fraction of the time.
Some of these positive results are already being seen in Dundee, the area where the DESC pilot has been running since January. The system will roll out to the rest of Scotland after a pilot period of six months.
While many forces globally have implemented Axon’s robust evidence management capabilities at a local policing level, Scotland’s collaborative national effort between the courts, government, and police is unique and has not been done before. As Axon CEO Rick Smith notes, “What Scotland has done at the national level is bring all of those players together to solve this in an integrated way,” he said. “We’re now seeing cases move in hours instead of weeks and months.”
All forms of digital evidence, from CCTV recordings and cell phone videos from witnesses to recorded interviews with suspects, will be managed and shared through Axon’s robust evidence management workflows. Police will be able to easily collect evidence from the public and share relevant media with the courts and the prosecution through the click of a button. Costs, waiting times, and the inefficiencies associated with hard media sharing formats (such as USBs) are expected to drop significantly.
As Justice Secretary Keith Brown told the BBC, “From crime scene to courtroom, DESC will allow victims and others involved in criminal cases to move on with their lives sooner and free up officers’ time to focus more on frontline policing. No other country in the world has invested in a digital evidence solution which serves each part of the criminal justice system equally.”
Axon’s mission is to protect life, capture truth, and accelerate justice. The historic step that Scotland is taking in implementing a national system for digital evidence will enable a reimagined vision of digital transformation in public safety.