Research institute launches social media evidence project


Birkbeck’s Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research has announced the launch of a study looking at digital forensics.

According to the organisation, the work - which is being carried out in partnership with the Jill Dando Institute, and Perpetuity Research - will focus on “the handling of ‘social media evidence’ in the investigation and prosecution of criminal offences.” Evidence in this context refers to “messaging communications between suspects, victims and witnesses of crime.”

Areas of study will include technical processes as well as the currently existing legal, procedural and regulatory framework around this kind of evidence. The project will also look at how it can best be presented in court.

Speaking of the research project, a spokesperson said: “Almost any crime that is committed today gives rise to evidence in digital forms. Such evidence frequently includes communications, via a wide array of social media platforms and messaging applications.

“The nature, volume and complexity of ‘social media evidence’ poses multiple challenges, but also new opportunities for the investigative and prosecution process.”

Birkbeck has launched an online survey as part of this study, aimed at police officers, digital forensic experts, and criminal lawyers.

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