DVDs to play in federal interrogation unit

Australia's elite criminal suspects will soon be treated to DVD-quality interrogations at Australia's most powerful law enforcement body. The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) is pushing ahead with digital recording upgrades to its five interviewing facilities across Australia, tender documents reveal.

The commission will also purchase three mobile digital recording units for its flying squads to "allow examinations to be undertaken at remote locations", which Computerworld understands are usually evidentiary recordings taken at crime scenes.

The recording suites, which must include integrated digital video and audio recording equipment and associated software and hardware, represent part of a greater push by federal authorities to streamline the frequently cumbersome procedures in the collection and handling of evidence.

While specifications for the equipment have not been listed, it is understood the ACC is considering utilizing the MPEG4 digital video standard.

Some of the numerous benefits the new technology is expected to bring include enabling officers to quickly search and locate large volumes of evidence without looking through literally hundreds of physical items locked away in evidence rooms.

One key advantage of digitizing interviews is that police will be able to produce digitized evidence in court at short notice, helping to reduce the lengthy time of legal proceedings.

The rollout of the ACC's new equipment is planned for December 2005.

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