INSITU
Research Project

Optimization of law enforcement processes via mobile-computer based on-site description of complex crime scene situations

In the INSITU research project, a system for digitizing crime scene work is being researched in cooperation with the Federal Criminal Police Office and various other partners. The goal is to capture crime scenes spatially and semantically with different sensors and thus to create a digital crime scene sketch that can be used for investigation.

After an attack, burglary or similar incident, the scene of the crime is recorded and documented as part of the police investigation. Crime scene work and documentation is very demanding, as every situation at hand is different and time constraints makes consistent documentation that is also tailored to the situation and needs difficult. Although the use of digital technologies offers the police new possibilities for documentation, those systems are often specialised regarding the needs of individual actors or specific user groups and therefore cannot be utilized universally for all investigations and evaluations.

The aim of the project is therefore to develop a documentation system that enables the complete digital recording and processing of all information of a crime scene. Within the framework of INSITU (from the Latin in situ “local, on site”), a standardized procedure for a consistent data recording will be developed. Additional information that is automatically stored, such as recording time or position, allows data from different sources, such as photos, audio recordings or notes, to be intelligently linked together. In addition to the automated preparation and (further) processing of relevant information, integrated filter and search functions as well as rules and checking mechanisms support data evaluation and relieve the investigative staff.

For the first time, the INSITU system aims to enable the full documentation of a crime scene utilizing (partially) automated digital technologies and methods. The use of mobile, low-cost consumer devices, such as tablets for data processing and transfer, promotes a needs-oriented and comprehensive applicability. The Federal Criminal Police Office as coordinator of the project also ensures a close exchange with other competent authorities, such as the State Criminal Police Offices. In the future, the system should further enable transition from mainly file-based work to modern digital documentation. Further information and news can be found on the website of the Federal Criminal Police Office (german language only).

INSITU video

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Picture: Bundeskriminalamt

In addition to the Institute of Numerical Methods and Informatics in Civil Engineering, the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) in Wiesbaden is involved as a project partner. As part of the Forensic Institute (Kriminaltechnik, KT), the department KT24fires, room explosions, electrical engineering – is responsible for the investigation and assessment of (primarily) fire locations. The wide-ranging tasks of the Forensic Institute (KT) of the BKA include not only crime scene or case work, but also conferences, other forensic investigations, collections and expert systems, education and consultancy and last but not least research and development, which is indispensable within the scope of the legal mandate and the self-image of the BKA as the central department in order to keep pace with the constantly changing conditions. Within the INSITU project, the BKA respectively KT24 are also responsible for the coordination of the consortium in the person of .

Furthermore, the bayoonet AG is an associated partner of the project, which will support INSITU thanks to extensive experience in IT service and project management, software development and process optimization.

Additional associated partners from the field are represented by various police forces from different states.

  Name Contact
Michael Disser M.Sc.
+49 6151 16-21335
Maximilian Gehring M.Sc.
+49 6151 16-21822
Pascal Mosler M.Sc.
+49 6151 16-21373

The INSITU project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the Federal Government framework programme “Research for Civil Security”.

Funding reference numbers: 13N14813 to 13N14814
Duration: 01.07.2018 – 30.06.2021

Since 10/2021 accompanying follow-up research is being conducted in cooperation with the Federal Criminal Police Office.