A Scottish police force has helped develop new computer technology which could revolutionise the analysis of crime scenes.
Grampian Police headquarters
Grampian Police say the technology allows officers to revisit the place where the offence took place through their computer screen.
All the evidence, including fingerprints and DNA analysis, is then linked in a much simpler way.
The system has already been bought by the FBI in America.
The software was developed by Aberdeen-based technology company, MaxIMT, in collaboration with Grampian Police.
It is hoped the evidence gathering, data recording and access system - a world first - will ease the analysis of vital evidence.
Known as R2S Crime, it allows the user to view pictures of the crime scene from various vantage points, which can be moved through 360 degrees.
Pictures are taken using a Spheron camera, which has the capability to produce spherical images of a whole room.
Areas which are difficult to see, such as dark corners, can be enhanced and
"hot spots" can be inserted to show the position of fingerprints, footprints,
DNA or other forensic evidence.
Grampian Police Assistant Chief Constable Pat Shearer hailed the benefits of the software.
He said: "It demonstrates the benefits which can be achieved by working in partnership with the private sector.
"We pride ourselves on our use of technology - everything from the recent
introduction of facial recognition technology to our state of the art service
centre - and as this major development shows, we have world-class talent and
expertise working here."
Andrew Rolph, head of Grampian Police's identification bureau and a former
detective inspector, added: "R2S Crime significantly reduces the time and costs associated with solving serious crime.
"With over 30 years' police experience, I believe R2S Crime is one of the most exciting advances in crime detection that I have seen."
The R2S technology has evolved from a range of equipment which was originally designed by MaxIMT for the international oil and gas markets and the real estate sector.
MaxIMT's technical director, Graham Buchan, said: "We are immensely grateful to Grampian Police for their support, advice and input.
"This collaboration has enabled us to deliver a robust, industry tailored and
field-tested product to the market."