The Scottish Government has launched a procurement for a new digital evidence sharing capability (DESC) for the country’s criminal justice process.
It said it is aiming to give users such as police officers, prosecutors, court staff and defence agents a user-friendly way to digitally access evidence.
The move is a collaboration between the Scottish Government, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the defence community.
The procurement notice is for a digital partner to develop and support a software solution to take in evidence including documents, CCTV and other digital forms. The solution is expected to include asset storage, multimedia conversion and transcoding, searching and indexing, view including video playback, editing, auditing, deletion and support for retention and archive policies.
It adds that the solution should support integration with other systems such as crime and case management, and come with related services such as application hosting and helpdesk support.
The Scottish Government said that all digital evidence will only be accessible by approved personnel and access will be fully audited and monitored. The data will be held in Home Office police assured secure facilities with the necessary certification for storage and access of evidential material.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We are taking action to improve the experiences of victims and witnesses at every stage of the criminal justice process. This change will make a real difference to the time taken for cases to come court, allowing those involved in criminal cases to move on with their lives sooner.
“Reducing delays is just one of the benefits of this project, which will make evidence sharing more cost effective and provide the groundwork for further modernisation of the criminal process.”
Image from Scottish Parliament, OSPL