Evidentiary data collection from Global Positioning Systems: A qualitative study from a Queensland Police Search Coordinator’s perspective

Jeffrey Magnus BPolicing MEmergMgt Graduate, Australian Graduate School of Policing Charles Sturt University Australia

Email: jeffmagnus@me.com



This research focuses on the evidentiary issues of Global Positioning System (GPS) digital data collection in order to achieve consistency both within the Queensland Police Service (QPS) Legislative directives and also in methodical performance with other digital forms in operational and administrative environments. Since digital evidence can be modified, duplicated and/or illegally obtained, the relevance, dependability and admissibility of such evidence needs to be established to achieve court acceptability. This study investigated QPS policy and the evidentiary requirements of digital procedure within Police Search Coordination. Extensive literature was consulted through academic journal data bases, the QPS Intranet, and relevant websites. This study found a significant absence of GPS data capture techniques, resulting in procedural inconsistencies within the QPS Search Coordination. The study highlighted the topic’s relevance, and it is envisaged that consequent recommendations for consistent procedures will minimise occurrences of evidential failure in court situations. Calls for higher standards will require that Search Coordinators understand the transformation of GPS data into admissible evidence.

Key words: Metadata, data, document, global positioning system, evidence, court, computer, standard of proof, statement, admissibility, operational procedures.

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