Some of our recent guests into Police Horizons were Digital Forensic Examiner Nigel Hardacre and Digital Forensics Team Leader Chris Smith to discuss their roles within the Digital Forensic team within Lancashire Police.

Digital Forensics plays a crucial role in investigating and solving crimes involving digital evidence. As technology continues to advance, the need for specialised expertise in digital forensics becomes increasingly vital. It is estimated that 90% of reported crime has a digital element, making their work even more valuable.

Nigel and Chris started by providing an overview to our students of the developments in the world of Digital Forensics with reference to the recently passed Online Safety Act – an act that means companies running social networking sites or search engines must promote online safety by tackling illegal material and content that is harmful to children, conducting regular risk assessments, and properly enforcing age limits. Other legislations were also discussed including Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984) and the Computer Misuse Act (1990) which provided some context to the students who have discussed this within their curriculum.

 Police Horizons

Nigel went on to discuss the steps involved with his role as a Digital Forensic Examiner including evidence collection, preservation and data analysis. The team is responsible for collecting, preserving, and analysing digital evidence from various devices such as computers, mobile phones, tablets, and storage devices. This evidence can include emails, texts, images, videos, and other digital artefacts relevant to criminal investigations. Nigel also explained his experience as an expert witness, which is a role often adopted by digital forensic experts who may be called upon to testify in court to present their findings and explain technical aspects of digital evidence to judges and juries playing a crucial role in the prosecution of cases. The pair discussed entry routes into the digital forensics world and their experience throughout their time in the Police.

Thank you to both Nigel and Chris for coming in to Police Horizons to speak with our students, we hope to see you again soon!

Our Police Horizons Academy provides knowledge on key legislation with the opportunity to gain practical skills via role plays covering lawful stop and searches and carrying out lawful arrests. Students also investigate case studies to give them some background knowledge into the history of policing. They will learn about the recruitment process and what will be expected, with the opportunity to practice the fitness test that is required to pass upon entry into the police. More information can be found in our Horizons booklet below.

Horizons Brochure