Readers may be aware of the recent developments linked to the automatic scanning of footwear during the custody process for the Metropolitan Police Service. This was the subject of a recent Crimewatch piece discussing the value of the intelligence gained and the cost savings from the removal of the existing paper based approach.
After a thorough review by the Home Office and Forensice Sciences Regulator, Bluestar can announce the live implementation of the product commences this month. Tread Finder allows scans to be taken and automatically matched against the National Footwear Reference Collection (NFRC) within a matter of seconds. Investigators can then receive immediate intelligence based upon the value of this association. Furthermore, the same features are embedded within the National Footwear Database (NFD) so the entire forensic community can benefit.
What is Tread Finder
Tread Finder is a client application developed by Bluestar which extends the functionality of the NFRC/NFD by providing integration with a physical scanner for gathering footwear impressions during the detention process. The application picks up any custody records automatically sent to the NFD which do not contain scans and presents these on a queue linked to the custody suite.
Detention officers then complete a simple process and submit the patterns to the NFD. These are automatically compared to the national collection (NFRC) to establish the type of pattern the footwear should be linked to. Once the pattern type is known, an intelligence pack is generated to offer an immediate view for the investigator.