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Evidence is a critical component of every forensic investigation. Handling and processing of each evidence ultimately affect its admissibility in the legislative hearings. In this regard, a master evidence repository is a must-have feature for digital evidence management systems, which should give its users a central place for ingestion, organization, and management of digital forensics. This repository should also help in defining the Agency structure which does not only help the officers but also the end-users to drill down to the required evidence within a case.
VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System enables Law Enforcement Agencies to ingest, store, manage and analyze ever-increasing digital evidence collected from various sources e.g. bodycam, dashcams, CCTV camera, phone call recording while maintaining a complete trail of activities performed on each one of them. VIDIZMO provides an efficient, secure and reliable evidence repository for handling and managing cases and evidence. This repository offers a diversified set of functionalities, in form of sections, from evidence submission to review and evidence assignment. Read further to understand how each feature contributes towards a comprehensive evidence lifecycle management.
In VIDIZMO’s Digital Evidence Management System, an evidence repository is an accumulation of cases and evidence within folder(s). It then depends on every agency upon how to use folders to segregate their content into structured shelves for enhanced accessibility. Yet, for illustration purposes, we shall adopt the use-case of folders as departments and sub-departments. While Evidence Repository acts as a central place from where evidence can be submitted, accessed and managed, it also maintains the context of the department in which you are currently navigating. Additionally, it gives a hierarchical view of all the folders within your DEM system, which simplifies navigation from a department to within a case and then the relevant evidence.
My Cases Section is available under the Evidence Repository. It is the collection of all cases created by the authorized portal user (currently logged in). It provides all case-specific information (evidence in that case, case creation date,
views) to the officer when this section is opened. My Cases Section has the same purpose as a physical shelf– to store and organize evidence in related cases. Click here to see: How to Create and Delete a Case.
Note: While My Cases may contain several Gigabytes of data, it does not consume any extra server storage. This is because it is simply a pointer that defines the location of files within the Evidence Repository which makes it memory efficient.
Quick Access to Evidence
VIDIZMO offers another functionality to ease content accessibility by allowing officers/investigators to readily add evidence/case upon which they are currently working in their Quick Access section, this will help them analyze and manage those files directly from the Evidence Repository. As some high-profile cases need special attention, they become top priority of the investigative officers assigned to work on them.
Adding an Evidence or a Case to the Quick Access only needs a couple of steps:
- Click on the overflow menu of an Evidence or Case.
- Next, select the “Add to Quick Access” option.
That’s all you need to do for adding case/evidence to the Quick Access section.
VIDIZMO provides a personal workspace for every investigative officer where they ingest digital evidence collected from a place of incidence, and centrally view their submission status, audit trail, and other necessary details to keep track of its usage during the investigation process of an evidence within a case. The officer would have the right to re-upload, view information, delete, and unpublish evidence. Also, a user can filter evidence as per their requirements. To learn more about it, see: How to Submit an Evidence.
There are times when the police department has to transfer custody of a case to another investigative officer/detective. One most common cause for transfer of a case’s responsibility is the process that involves forensics experts to gather data from an incident location but another detective/investigative officer who is held responsible for its resolution. In Assigned section, an officer can easily view all the cases assigned to him/her. Similarly, there can be a scenario in which an evidence is being used in multiple cases. So, this single evidence can be assigned to concerned officers by the authorized user. Click here to see: How to View Evidence and Cases Assigned to me.
In the process of investigation, many a times the authoritative officers have to carry out a detailed analysis before they can ingest an evidence and create a relevant case. Such analysis includes gauging the integrity of the evidence, standardizing naming convention of a case for central accessibility, and assessing relevance of an evidence to multiple cases. Therefore, VIDIZMO provides Drafts section, where Agency officials can save their cases and evidence prior to publishing, while still editing them to ensure they meet all Agency standards. This ensures that authoritative roles within the law enforcement agencies and other prosecutors/defense attorneys can access evidence and case along with the concrete findings and form a precise understanding of the whole scenario.
Sometimes, the published evidence or cases have to be unpublished in which case they lose visibility in the portal for end-users, and the content can be re-published after making required changes in Title, Description, Tags etc. It is worth noting that all unpublished cases and evidence go to the Drafts as well.
To ensure the admissibility of an evidence, before it gets published (made available for the investigative officers assigned to work on them), VIDIZMO offers a feature that allows Agency officials to centrally control and administer the approval and rejection policy of an evidence submitted into the system. Evidence Moderation can be enabled/disabled as per the requirements of the Agency. Read more about how to configure it: How to Configure Portal's Content Moderation Policy.
If evidence moderation is enabled, the Review section will be visible in the left menu. In this section, all evidence pending for approval would be visible and can be approved or rejected as per the defined content moderation policy. The same section can be used to view the rejected cases/evidence by using the status filter available in the top right corner of the screen.
Note: Evidence submitted by Moderator+ users do not require review before publishing.
In VIDIZMO, Recycle bin is a section, where deleted cases and evidence are temporarily stored. Here they stay till the defined Retention Period. Recycle bin also allows the recovery of deleted cases or evidence within the retention period.
The Retention Period of evidence/cases starts from the date when they were deleted. After the passage of the said duration with the Retention Period, the evidence will be purged permanently from the system beyond recovery.
Note: When a case is purged, the details associated with the case are permanently removed from the system but the digital evidence assembled within a case shall remain intact.