Award recognition of revolutionary software used by ERSOU in fight against criminal gangs


A digital forensics company whose revolutionary technology is used by Bedfordshire Police’s ERSOU (Eastern Region Special Operations Unit), has significantly improved the abilities of police forces across the UK to break up sophisticated criminal gangs, from people traffickers to drug kingpins, has received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Forensic Analytics, based in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, landed the country’s highest award for innovation thanks to its unique software solutions that augment law enforcement strategies by providing watertight efficiency in dealing with highly sensitive forensic evidence from crime scene to court room.

Currently an approved supplier to 95% of police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as many government agencies, Forensic Analytics’ Cell Site Analysis Software (CSAS) is unique in the marketplace as it allows users to visualise and simplify complex data to an evidential standard.

This in turn allows operational decisions to be made very quickly, as its mission-critical software rapidly decodes forensic data, allowing police forces to act on cases at speed.

Chief Executive Steve Rick said receiving the Queen’s Award is one of the proudest moments for the company, as it “recognises how important digital forensics is in successfully bringing the sophisticated criminals of today to justice”.

He said: “In our field, working in support of law enforcement at a time when more than 90% of all crime has a digital component, the need for innovation in tackling the ingenuity of the criminal world has never been greater.

“Whether it is drugs, kidnap and extortion, people trafficking or some of the new and emerging trends in criminality like courier fraud where criminals prey on vulnerable members of society, perpetrators continue to innovate and so must we.”

CSAS is unique in the field of forensic analytics as it is capable of processing vast call data sets in seconds. The software saves forensic analysts countless hours of time, ensuring investigations can proceed at speed, making CSAS an indispensable tool for the many UK police forces using it.

Rick added that the award was also recognition of the hard work Forensic Analysts undertook to remotely train officers in use of the software during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “The Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police recently stated that during lockdown, they arrested 1,000 individuals as part of County Lines drug investigations, achieving a 90% guilty plea, in doing so saving court and investigators time.”

Rick went on to say “This plea rate was achieved through a combination of good old fashioned detective work and policing, supported by digital forensic evidence that was so compelling that those arrested had little or no choice. Every day we have examples of where our software and solutions are enabling the fight against crime.”

He added: “For us as a company, like every business in the country, COVID-19 has been very tough from a human point of view – particularly with remote working and the only interaction with colleagues and customers being via e-mail, video and phone. So this award is a huge boost to the whole team.”

Martin Griffiths, who along with engineers Andrew Hausler and Joe Hoy launched Forensic Analytics in 2013, said winning the Queen’s Award is “a big achievement for a relatively young company”.

He said: “We spend a lot of time looking at the detail in our work. I suppose it’s a bit like looking at a jigsaw puzzle, we’re often looking at just one piece. But what this award does is steps back to look at the whole picture and recognises all that we’ve done as a team to date. If we were to remove one of those pieces, we’d have an incomplete picture. This award is for all of us.”