Chain of Custody
CHAIN OF CUSTODY ESTABLISHES THE PROOF THAT THE ITEMS OF EVIDENCE COLLECTED AS PART OF AN INVESTIGATION IS THE SAME EVIDENCE THAT IS BEING PRESENTED IN A COURT OF LAW.
This chain is typically spoken of, when dealing with physical evidence such as clothing, weapons, or paper document, but is also applicable when the evidence is video surveillance footage.
Every item of evidence is subject to tampering, altering or falsifying in some manner, so a proper chain of custody, showing that the evidence is whole and true, is of vital importance.
Police or law enforcement agencies, as well as prosecuting district attorneys must be sure that the video evidence, they are presenting to a court during legal proceedings has not been altered and is authentic as possible.
A defense attorney will undoubtedly make the chain of custody a point of contention in a proceeding, to attempt to establish any breaks in the chronology or to attempt to muddy the authenticity of the evidence.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO ENSURE THE VIDEO EVIDENCE CHAIN OF CUSTODY STAYS WHOLE AND UN-TAMPERED WITH?
A fully managed video surveillance system, from end to end.
- Known device that holds the electronic evidence
- Clear ownership of the device’s that generate and store the video evidence
- Restricted access to the stored video footage
- Documented log-in (timelines) information to the entire device
- Control of the network path the device is connected to
- Off-site video retention storage on secure servers
- Original footage retained and copied for editing purposes
- Licensed individuals which work with and on the recording devices
By selecting a managed video surveillance solution that encompasses spotless storage, archiving and transferring, you can minimize any potential chain of custody issues that could invalidate the video evidence.
It is the most responsible way to help secure the very reason you installed a video surveillance system.