Amateur photographers aid police investigations

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected] • 16 Aug, 2010 Updated Mon 16 Aug 2010 08:25 CEST

The police are receiving an increasing amount of help in their investigations from photographs and film captured by bystanders who either hand in their material or publish it on online first.


The film material is regarded as concrete proof in the solving of crimes and if the right perpetrators are caught on camera, can lead to convictions. A description, a car registration plate, a sequence of events - the examples are many of factors which can be complemented by witness or victim testimony.

Many witnesses choose to publish their material on other websites first before handing over the material to the police.

"It is just a question of looking at the front page of the newspapers. The person who takes a picture or a film owns the rights, and if someone chooses to use it in another way than to hand it over to the police, then it is up to them," said Anders Ahlqvist of the National Criminal Investigation Department (Rikskriminalen).

The police say they do not have the resources to sort through the wealth of information on the internet, everything that is published on homepages and various forums.

"One can say generally that it is guys who publish "muscle stuff" - weapons, crime, cars. It is published in order to be seen and then you have to have something that sticks out to gain attention, cooler than that which was there before," said Anders Ahlqvist.

The general public are also useful however when it comes to monitoring the internet.

"Most of the tips we receive, and by far the most common question is 'this must be a crime, this must be illegal?' over something they have seen on the internet," said Ahlqvist.


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