Greater Manchester Police Completes Digital Investigations 9.5 Hours Faster With Magnet AUTOMATE

Magnet Forensics announced that the Greater Manchester Police, in conjunction with the United Kingdom’s Forensic Capability Network, has successfully accelerated its digital investigations into child sexual exploitation by deploying Magnet AUTOMATE. With Magnet AUTOMATE, a solution that uses automation and orchestration to keep police investigations running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year without human intervention, the Greater Manchester Police completed cases an average of 9.5 hours faster during a yearlong pilot.

“The Greater Manchester Police has seen an incredible increase in the volume of digital evidence, year-over-year, for the better part of a decade,” said Dave Smith, head of digital forensics, Greater Manchester Police. “In the next year, the Greater Manchester Police is going to build on our early success and roll out Magnet AUTOMATE as an essential function to all our digital investigations. Magnet AUTOMATE will fundamentally improve how we address critical digital evidence and allow us to complete our digital investigations faster than we ever could by using what was once hours of downtime in evenings and weekends to continue to advance our work.”

The influx of digital evidence being handled by the Greater Manchester Police is directly linked to Britons becoming more connected and welcoming more devices into their households. As of 2020, the average U.K. household contained more than 10 internet-enabled devices, up 26 per cent from 2017. Each one of those devices contains droves of data that have proven essential to helping police fight crimes. Now, over 90 per cent of investigations have a digital element. The problem is that there is often too much digital evidence for police agencies to handle, which results in delays to investigations. Police agencies in the U.K. reportedly have a cumulative backlog of 20,000 devices that require examination, according to a recent Freedom of Information response.

“Police agencies worldwide are seeing major evidence bottlenecks form between the time that devices are collected in the field from witnesses, victims and suspects and the time that the digital evidence found on them is processed,” said Jad Saliba, founder and chief technology officer of Magnet Forensics. “The Greater Manchester Police’s success demonstrates the transformational impact that Magnet AUTOMATE is having on digital investigations. Magnet AUTOMATE relieves evidence bottlenecks to ensure that digital evidence is an asset that helps investigators get to the truth and does not instead become a liability that threatens to delay the pursuit of justice.”

Magnet AUTOMATE is helping agencies like the Greater Manchester Police run more efficient digital investigations. The solution keeps investigations running and ensures they no longer grind to a halt by automating routine and repetitive tasks. It enables agencies to maximize their existing hardware and software investments by simultaneously processing evidence for multiple cases. When a task is complete, Magnet AUTOMATE will automatically move on to the next one and synchronize other interoperable digital investigation solutions. When a case is completed, it begins the processing for a new case. This frees digital investigators to focus on analysis during office hours and allows investigations to continue to advance during traditional downtime hours.

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During the pilot, the Greater Manchester Police successfully:

  • Completed digital investigations an average of 9.5 hours faster
  • Processed digital evidence 55 per cent faster
  • Improved officer wellbeing by reducing exposure to sensitive content, such as child sexual abuse material
  • Built the foundation to further expand the use of Magnet AUTOMATE into all criminal investigations over the next 12 months.

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