A Royal Military Police (RMP) Sergeant and a forensics team from the RMP have proved they are the best in their field, winning two top awards at the prestigious International Digital Investigation Awards 2020. The IDIA celebrates innovative action by law enforcement agencies from around the world
The virtual ceremony hosted nominations from world renowned organisations including the FBI and the Metropolitan Police in categories including digital forensic techniques, collaborative investigation, digital investigator of the year, to name a few.
Advanced Digital Investigation Award
Sergeant James Stubbs, of the Service Police Cyber Crime Centre (SP3C) scooped the Exceptional Use of Advanced Digital Forensic Techniques Award, beating other highly skilled specialists and team finalists from the Metropolitan Police Service Cybercrime Unit and Leicestershire Police’s Digital Media Intelligence unit.
On receiving the award, Sgt Stubbs said: “I’m delighted to have been nominated and to have won the award for what was a challenging and rewarding investigation. Details of the techniques I used have been requested by INTERPOL Cyber Crime, raising SP3C’s profile internationally.
“I am also proud of SP3C, SPCB, FIIU and FIB for receiving the award for Collaborative Investigation, both awards have provided positive exposure of the Service Police and its efforts to our international counterparts,” he said.
Sgt Stubbs was nominated for his ground-breaking work and carrying out digital forensic investigations to support a US Service Police CID investigation into a sudden death in Iraq in 2019. He was able to retrieve the data from the deceased’s very damaged fitness watch, despite the fact that there was no forensic support for this type of device at the time.
This was of immense importance for the investigation, meaning that time and place of death could be established, enabling the investigators to determine whether any criminal activity had occurred.
More broadly, Sgt Stubbs’s work will also benefit the wider law enforcement community as his work has significantly enhanced understanding of how to forensically analyse such devices, so could be used in future cases to determine time of death and posthumous movements in sudden death or murder cases.
Team Collaborative Award
The RMP Specialist Operations Regiment was recognised in the Team Collaborative Award for their work alongside members of the Royal Navy Police Special Investigation Branch (RNP SIB) for their work in extracting, decoding and interpreting electronic information from a number of devices seized as part of an investigation into alleged possession of indecent images of children.
During the investigation images were uncovered, which raised immediate child safeguarding issues. By working collaboratively with other Service Police agencies, the child was identified within three hours and measures put in place for their protection.
Spec Ops Regt continued to support the investigation when jurisdiction was passed to Northumbria Police. As a result of the investigation a former serviceman was sentenced to 14 years in jail, made subject to a sexual harm prevention order, a restraining order for life and is on the sexual offender’s register for life.
The team was shortlisted alongside Op BLEAK (a collaboration between North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, the National Cyber Crime Unit and the Australian Federal Police), and National Undercover Online.
Brigadier Viv Buck, Provost Marshal (Army) said: “I am incredibly proud that the RMP has won two awards in the International Digital Investigation Awards 2020, particularly against such high-quality competition from other UK and international law enforcement agencies.
“This is a true reflection of the credibility, competency and excellence of the Service Police team working in digital forensics; they truly are among the best of the best.”