The rapid and ongoing increase in the use of electronic and digital technology to commit and detect crime has led to a growing reliance on electronic and digital evidence in criminal investigations and prosecutions. This rapid growth and the increasing sophistication of technology presents significant opportunities and challenges for the criminal justice system.
To manage these challenges the Queensland Police Service established the Electronic Evidence Examination Unit within its Financial and Cyber Crime Group. This unit’s role involves the examination of electronic devices such as laptops, mobiles, personal data assistants and USB’s. They are experts in areas of encryption, recovering data, and accessing cloud storage. Their primary role is undertaking complex analyses of sophisticated computer related investigations of businesses, organisations and individuals in relation to tracking and recovering evidence.
In addition, the police service’s Child Abuse and Sexual Crimes Unit is responsible for undertaking complex analyses of computer related investigations involving child exploitation material. In July 2017, the Queensland Sentence Advisory Council released its final report on its review of the classification of child exploitation material. It included 16 recommendations aimed at improving aspects of the management of evidence related to this type of material.