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Originally published in Custodial Review in November 2018

The CPS’s outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders spoke recently about the British Criminal Justice System “creaking” under the pressure of huge amounts of data being submitted for investigation with outdated police software still in use.

For anyone working in the system, it is clear that there is a cause for concern for the future of convictions due to a lack of resources and an inability to keep up with the flood of data that new technology is presenting.

Chorus Intelligence, a provider of data cleansing and analysis software, has launched a new product, Chorus Investigator, which will help tackle the data issue following successful trials in a number of forces.

Developed alongside Chorus’s existing user base of police analysts and Investigators, the data analysis tool has been designed to enable Investigators and front-line police staff to review case information at a high level, answering key questions and developing lines of enquiry.

Chorus Investigator uses the same engine as the successful Chorus Analyser product, used by of the majority of UK police forces. Users can easily collate, standardise, cleanse and format all data pertaining to a criminal case, whether ANPR data, call data, online chat or device downloads, and quickly identify connections within cases, with minimal training.

Chorus Investigator also has the potential to ease the pressure on the forces looking to tackle prolific issues such as county lines and missing persons cases. Using Chorus Investigator, forces can quickly detect data connections and locate criminal and missing people quickly by analysing and visualising all the data available to them, without having to draft in extra, costly resources.

Poor data cleansing can lead, in many cases, to cases being dropped; a recent review from CPS found this as a major issue in rape and sexual assault cases. With the launch of Chorus Investigator, officers can now be confident that they are looking at all the data available to them, enabling full disclosure when going to trial.

Boyd Mulvey, CEO of Chorus said: “While it’s alarming, but not surprising, to hear Alison Saunders state that the police and CPS is struggling to cope with the huge amounts of data being generated by modern technology, at last we have seen recognition that change must happen.

“Modern technology and the data produced is often a great gift for investigators, but let’s be clear – the gift of data is only valuable when it is easy to view, manipulate and bring together into evidential reports.

“Alison is right, outdated technology cannot keep up with the data explosion generated by modern devices and apps. But technology has to be the solution to the problem, it itself generates.”