Forensic image analysis – CCTV distortion and artefacts

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Forensic Science International, 2018, 285 pp. 77 - 85
Issue Date:
2018-04-01
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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. As a result of the worldwide deployment of surveillance cameras, authorities have gained a powerful tool that captures footage of activities of people in public areas. Surveillance cameras allow continuous monitoring of the area and allow footage to be obtained for later use, if a criminal or other act of interest occurs. Following this, a forensic practitioner, or expert witness can be required to analyse the footage of the Person of Interest. The examination ultimately aims at evaluating the strength of evidence at source and activity levels. In this paper, both source and activity levels are inferred from the trace, obtained in the form of CCTV footage. The source level alludes to features observed within the anatomy and gait of an individual, whilst the activity level relates to activity undertaken by the individual within the footage. The strength of evidence depends on the value of the information recorded, where the activity level is robust, yet source level requires further development. It is therefore suggested that the camera and the associated distortions should be assessed first and foremost and, where possible, quantified, to determine the level of each type of distortion present within the footage. A review of the ‘forensic image analysis’ review is presented here. It will outline the image distortion types and detail the limitations of differing surveillance camera systems. The aim is to highlight various types of distortion present particularly from surveillance footage, as well as address gaps in current literature in relation to assessment of CCTV distortions in tandem with gait analysis. Future work will consider the anatomical assessment from surveillance footage.
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