Page last updated at 00:36 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Scottish crimes to be reconstructed in 3D

Photograph showing how the new technology reconstructs crimes
Crimes will be reconstructed using animation and 3D technology

Technology found in computer games and the film industry will be used in the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes, it has emerged.

A unit launched this month will allow police and juries to visualise crime scenes without having to go there.

The Scottish Police Services Authority will explain how a crime took place using animation and 3D reconstructions.

The technology has already been used in high-profile cases such as the murder of Angelika Kluk and Kriss Donald.

However, it will be rolled out nationwide next week.

The technology, developed by the SPSA's multimedia forensic unit in Glasgow, can make complex situations more understandable while virtual models can be created of a body to show how a bullet or knife caused injury.

Tom Nelson, director of forensic services for the SPSA, said it would revolutionise the way criminal investigations are carried out.

It can be useful as a substitute for photographs which are too distressing to show the jury
Frank Mulholland
Solicitor General

"They say a picture is worth a thousand words and with this technology it really is," he said.

"We can instantly transport detectives, lawyers, jurors and judges back to a crime scene, taking them on a interactive tour of the criminal investigation without a single person leaving their seat."

He said using the technology would allow the "very best presentation of evidence" as well as reducing the need for lengthy description and testimony in court.

Solicitor-General Frank Mulholland said the computer-generated images improved the explanation of evidence for jurors.

He added: "It can also be useful as a substitute for photographs which are too distressing and horrific to show the jury."

Andy Mason, multimedia technician at the SPSA, said the technology would take out a lot of the guesswork for juries.

"They don't have to imagine it, they don't have to guess it and they don't have to piece it together. That can only be good for justice."



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SEE ALSO
One-stop forensic service set up
29 May 07 |  Scotland
Police support body to begin work
15 Feb 07 |  Scotland

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