Through imagery analysis, FVS can compare almost anything - people, vehicles, weapons, clothing and fingerprints - recovered from sources including CCTV, mobile phones, cameras, video, film, print, slide and press articles

In our world today, CCTV is everywhere. Video evidence is increasingly commonplace and has become a crucial tool in the prevention, detection and prosecution of crime.

The quality of CCTV imagery is varied, with the Home Office reporting that 80% is of poor quality. However, we at FVS have the resources and skill to work with even the poorest footage.

CCTV can be filmed in colour, black-and-white, infrared (IR), and can be taken under any number of lighting conditions. The way the light is captured, processed and stored can further degrade quality through compression artefacts, blur or pixellation.

FVS analysts are familiar with all these concepts, and their expertise will ensure the best results from the available footage.

If imagery of the object exists, FVS can to perform a scientific comparison of the observable features.

How reliable is Imagery Analysis?

Two people or objects can share similar characteristics, and it is recognised that two people may be difficult to tell apart, even if standing side-by-side, let alone in poor quality CCTV. This means that positive identification (i.e. image X is of Person Y) is generally not possible.  

However, FVS can compare available imagery with the candidate for differences that would positively eliminate them. It is generally accepted that finding ‘no differences’ is supportive evidence that the subject in the footage being analysed and the candidate is one and the same, and they cannot be eliminated as a candidate.

Confidence scale

No scales or statistical databases exist that can precisely evaluate findings and conclusions, so FVS use a standardised scale as a method of providing a subjective expert opinion:

  • Lends no support*
  • Lends limited support
  • Lends moderate support
  • Lends support
  • Lends strong support
  • Lends powerful support

*(Extract taken from the Forensic Imagery Analysis Group (FIAG) guidelines, a sub-group of the British Association of Human Identification (BAHid) and the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences).