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Digital Forensics - 1567/21

Date Responded 10 December 2021

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1)   Does your force have a digital forensics unit or do you outsource?

a)   DF unit

b)   Outsource

c)   Both


2)   Do you complete mandatory training on how to retain digital evidence?

a)   Yes

b)   No


3)   What retention guidance does your force follow for the retention of digital evidence?

a)   NPCC

b)   MoPI

c)   CPIA

d)   Own retention policy

e)   Other (please specify)


4)   How do you retain digital evidence?

a)   Keep the original exhibit

b)   Keep the image/extraction/acquisition files from the exhibit

c)   Keep on the reports

d)   All of the above

e)   a & b

f)    b & c

g)   Other (please specify)


5)   How is the extraction of digital evidence stored?

a)   On a case hard drive

b)   Sever/network

c)   Other (please specify)

In Response:

  1. c) Northumbria Police employ their own Digital Forensic Unit, but may outsource Digital Forensic work where this is deemed appropriate.
  2. b) Staff employed within the Digital Forensic Unit adhere to a specific policy in relation to the retention of data obtained or produced during investigations.
  3. d) The Digital Forensic Unit utilises its own retention policy recorded within our Quality Management Framework.
  4. d) All of the above.
  5. c) The Digital Forensic Unit holds data relating to historic submissions on hard drives.  Data relating to more recent cases is stored within a Storage Area Network.
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