Put your digital investigative skills to the test with Operation Modify; episode 9 released

Published on 1 December 2020
Our interactive resource helps you develop your awareness of smart technologies, work through a case and solve a crime – one episode at a time
5 mins read
Operation Modify animation still

Operation Modify helps new and serving officers, police staff and volunteers to acquire the digital skills they need to undertake investigations effectively.

It consists of 10 episodes regularly released over the next few months through the College's learning platform – MLE (you will need to log in to this). They follow the events from the beginning of an initial incident to show how to identify sources of digital evidence and respond to digital opportunities. Seven episodes are available now.

  • Our ninth episode, 'Internet, Intelligence and Investigation (III)' focuses on using the internet to gather information, intelligence and evidence as part of an III strategy.
  • Episode eight, 'Online Fraud', focuses on identifying and investigating online fraud, including when to refer a victim to Action Fraud and the method that criminals can use – from phishing to dating scams.
  • The seventh episode, 'MISPERS', focuses on what digital opportunities there are to identify, locate and help trace a missing person. It also covers the 'Golden Hour' actions that the initial investigating officer should take, legislative authority, traceability tools and the levels of missing person definitions.
  • Episode six, 'Digital Forensics', focuses on reviewing the evidence collected so far, and what forensic services might be used to help the investigation. It also covers the legislation and policy governing search and seizure, digital witnesses and device interactions.
  • Our fifth episode, 'Core Digital Data Collation and Interpretation', shows how to interpret data from specialist units and understand when it is appropriate to seize a device. You will discover the non-specialist tools and techniques that you can use to collect, view and seize data from digital devices and understand how digital media investigators can help your investigation.
  • Episode four, 'CCTV and ANPR', shows how to establish the evidential value and limitations of CCTV, as well as the best-practice protocols surrounding CCTV seizure and access. You will learn how to collect and store CCTV security and surveillance footage correctly, finding out how to explain the legislative and procedural considerations prior to CCTV retrieval. You will get an understanding of the different purposes of CCTV and ANPR and the added value of ANPR to an investigation.
  • Episode three, 'Core Digital Data Collection', shows you how to search for social media evidence effectively, corroborate digital evidence from different sources, maintain the integrity of captured media and equips you with the best practice for witness submission of images, video and audio as evidence.
  • Our second episode, 'Digital Scene Management', shows how to secure and handle any devices needed for investigation and how to ensure that evidence is not corrupted, lost or deleted and the importance of the 'Golden Hour' scene preservation protocol and how to prioritise evidence.
  • Episode one, 'Digital Media: Internet of Things', shows how to give basic digital advice and how to identify which smart devices could be discovered.

During the interactive learning session you will work with a virtual partner and team and – as the investigation unfolds – it becomes clear there is more to the initial incident than first thought. Learners with a police force email address are encouraged to sign in to Knowledge Hub where you can find useful supplementary information to enhance your digital skills. Watch our video to find out how to sign up to Knowledge Hub, run by the Police ICT Company, and access our range of digital intelligence and investigation (DII) resources.

The Policing Vision 2025 plan and a 'Real lives, real crime' report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS) both identified the effect that digital crime is having on policing. The reports also found a need for policing to better support and advise victims of crime and recommended better awareness of how to investigate and gather digital evidence.

Our interactive learning tool aims to tackle some of these recommendations and provide officers and staff with general digital policing skills so that they can respond appropriately to response calls: triaging the situation, protecting evidence and identifying if specialist support is needed.

Operation Modify covers the digital subject areas that have been identified by policing as the priority areas for skills development. Give it a go.