Elgin police to receive cyber kiosk technology
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THE roll-out of new cyber kiosks to be used by police across Scotland will begin on January 20.
Elgin will be one of 41 Police Scotland buildings to receive the computer equipment, which is designed to look at the contents of mobile telephones and tablets.
It means specially trained officers can quickly determine if the technology contains information which may be of value to a police investigation or incident.
This allows lines of enquiry to be progressed at a much earlier stage and devices that are not relevant to an investigation to be returned quicker.
The roll out had been expected in Autumn 2018. However, that was postponed after concerns were raised about the legal basis for using the devices.
Consultation has since taken place and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service as well as independent senior counsel have affirmed the existence of a legal basis for the use of the devices.
Deputy chief constable Malcolm Graham said: "We are committed to providing the best possible service to victims and witnesses of crime. This means we must keep pace with society.
"People of all ages now lead a significant part of their lives online and this is reflected in how we investigate crime and the evidence we present to courts.
"Many online offences disproportionately affect the most vulnerable people in our society, such as children at risk of sexual abuse, and our priority is to protect those people.
"Increases in the involvement of digital devices in investigations and the ever-expanding capabilities of these devices mean that demand on digital forensic examinations is higher than ever.
"Current limitations, however, mean the devices of victims, witnesses and suspects can be taken for months at a time, even if it later transpires that there is no worthwhile evidence on them.
"By quickly identifying devices which do and do not contain evidence, we can minimise the intrusion on people’s lives and provide a better service to the public."
Police Scotland said they will only examine a digital device where there is a legal basis and where it is "necessary, justified and proportionate" to the incident or crime under investigation.
Once an examination is complete, all device data is securely deleted from the cyber kiosk. The force has created a dedicated page to enable people to find out more about the new equipment.