In future, police investigators will devote more time to evaluation of mass video data. The quantity of video data available to investigators will continue to grow as ever more operators expand their video capacity in high-traffic buildings and at mass events. Likewise, the rising availability of smartphones with high resolution sensors enables law enforcement agencies to see everyone potentially as a “mobile sensor carrier”. Thus, private citizens can provide large quantities of photographic and video data if required. This was the case, e.g. after the attack on the Boston Marathon in April 2013 following a call from the authorities. The vital role played by the analysis of mass image and video data can be seen in the case of serious crimes (e.g. the terror attack in Berlin in 2016) and large numbers of offenses committed in/by gatherings of people (e.g. on New Year’s Eve in Cologne or at the G20 meeting in Hamburg).
The IT tools currently used by investigative teams do not yet offer optimum support. Investigators have to perform much of this work “by hand” – a time-consuming process which is vulnerable to human error even when the greatest care is taken.
While a wide range of video management systems, visualization and recording tools are available on the market, there is still a lack of specialized software tools for the professional preparation and forensic analysis of mass video data – especially for efficiently navigating and searching such large volumes of material. In addition, a software-based and case-related support function is also required for documentation (production of reports and generating edited video sequences) and efficient processing of video evidence. Ideally, the software platform would assist the video analysis officer at every stage of the process – from viewing the video data to semi-automatic search functions, documentation of evidence and the preparation of a “file” for the specific case.
Fraunhofer IOSB is currently developing the software solution ivisX (Integrated Video Investigation Suite). This software platform is a system specially designed for law enforcement agencies. It offers highly efficient, case-related processing, analysis and documentation of mass video data. The software platform consists of a bundle of self-contained – and therefore modular – software tools that can be used as a complete (integrated) solution.
ivisX (currently) comprises the following components:
ivisX has been specifically designed for use by law enforcement agencies and is currently being tested by partner agencies under real-world conditions.