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UK Child Abuse Database Online to Help Police Speed Investigations

The UK’s National Child Abuse Image Database (CAID) has now been installed, offering law enforcers a centralized repository to improve collaboration and help them solve exploitation cases more efficiently.

The CAID contract was awarded to L-3 ASA – and partners NetClean and Hubstream – through the government’s pioneering G-Cloud framework.

The aim is to provide a central hub on which to store child abuse images. This database can then be searched by police in order to quickly determine if content on seized devices relates to new or existing material, NetClean said.

In so doing, it is hoped specialist police will be able to collaborate more effectively in the 46 forces and agencies across the UK and with international colleagues in Interpol.

It’s also been designed to improve the efficiency of investigations by removing the duplication of effort in categorizing such images, and freeing up police time to focus on solving crimes rather than processing evidence.

This could help police identify new victims more quickly, perhaps by spotting patterns across cases which may have previously lain hidden.

NetClean’s Analyze Collaboration Server will provide the centralized repository, while the firm’s client server offering will help speed the “collection, analysis, correlation and deconfliction” of child abuse material, it said.

Together with the Hubstream Intelligence Server, the technology infrastructure will provide everything needed to complete an investigation, from intake, triage and review to resolution and closure, NetClean explained.

Phase one has now been completed, which means that the system has been configured and installed in the live environment, according to NetClean law enforcement expert, Johann Hofmann.

"The database and system is up and running. It’s currently undergoing user acceptance testing by the various user roles, from specifically trained digital forensic investigators, to case workers who might be required to work with CAID,” he told Infosecurity.

“The only major milestone left in the project is end user training before the system goes live in December. At that point law enforcement agencies and police forces up and down the country will be able to begin using the technology in their cases.”

Back in August, NetClean reported that 20% of respondents in a survey of UK professionals said they were aware that someone in the office had downloaded child sexual abuse material while at work.

Just 3.5% of those incidents led to criminal investigations, the report claimed.

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