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Digital forensics - 98/18

Date Responded 06 February 2018

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:

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I seek the following information relating to forensic work: 

1. Can you confirm the current status of your internal digital forensics laboratory’s accreditation to the ISO 17025:2005 standard?

2. Can you confirm the current status of your internal digital forensics laboratory’s accreditation to the Forensic Science Regulator’s Codes of Practice and Conduct?

3. If you have yet to receive accreditation to the FSR Codes of Practice and Conduct what date have you applied for accreditation, or what date do you plan to apply for accreditation?

4. Has your organisation used external commercial providers (either directly or through a third party) for digital forensics work covered by the scope of the FSR Codes of Practice and Conduct in the past 12 months?

5. If yes to question 4. could you provide the names of those external providers?

6. If yes to question 4., are those external laboratories accredited to the ISO 17025:2005 standard and what is the scope they hold?

7. Is your organisation planning to tender for the provision of digital forensic services within the next 12 months?

8. If yes to question 7, will you consider bids from external laboratories that are not accredited to the ISO 17025:2005 standard with a scope that includes digital forensics work?

9. Following on from the dropping of two cases by the Metropolitan Police as a result of late disclosure, has your organisation taken specific measures to address disclosure of digital forensic evidence? If so, can you provide details of these measures? 

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. 

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police. 

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows. 

1. Northumbria Police applied for accreditation to ISO17025:2005, in Digital Forensics, August 2016. Pre-assessment was undertaken by UKAS for this area in January 2017. Initial assessment is scheduled for February/March 2018.

2. Northumbria Police are scheduled to be assessed against the Forensic Science Regulator’s Codes of Practice and Conduct during the February/March UKAS assessment.

3. Northumbria Police applied to be assessed against the FSR Codes of Practice and Conduct August 2016.

4. Yes

5. This is sourced via Metropolitan Police Service

6. Not accredited for the work carried out.

7. No

8. N/A

9. No information held.  No specific measures or decisions have yet been taken, however a report has been submitted to the Chief Officer Team for their consideration. 

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