Video player

Infomercial: Why do you need a video player designed for the police? | British Police News

Investigating CCTV is a global challenge. I thought it was worth pointing this out upfront because a lot of people aren’t aware of the extent of the problem or what caused it. To put it simply, the unchecked security industry ignores your demands in an investigation. This is quite laughable considering that the purpose of recording video footage is to allow it to be reviewed after an event and, if necessary, to replay that event and present it as an accurate representation of reality. . So when you’re struggling to visualize or perform a simple task involving video and CCTV, you’re not alone, and it was this scenario that launched my career in forensic video analysis over 20 years old.

As a Tutor Constable, I questioned why my trainees struggled with seemingly simple CCTV requests, which led to me setting up one of the UK’s first Divisional CCTV Units. The staff had a saying to describe the small, but necessary, tasks that are the bread and butter of any forensic video unit – The “quick and easy”.

Although I left the force in 2015, I recently referenced these tasks during a conversation at the National CCTV Conference because it is often the “quick and easy” tasks that still cause so much frustration. useless to PCSOs, police officers, digital media investigators, and detectives. So why do I, and many others who still work in video units, call certain tasks quick and easy if they cause so many unnecessary problems for other colleagues?

This is because people who work with video on a daily basis have access to the appropriate software applications, allowing them to quickly complete the task without much hassle. But why would they be the only ones to have access to certain tools?

It’s actually protection. They protect you and your evidence. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where your competence or handling of evidence is in question. This must be a vital consideration as mainstream video players don’t take this into account.

So what kind of jobs are the “quick and easy”? By identifying these jobs, we can also see what is needed in a video player designed specifically for you.


First, CCTV must be played. With around 7-10,000 different and sometimes conflicting video formats, it’s a bit of a hassle. Most manufacturers offer some sort of player software, but then those come with their own set of problems because they’re difficult to install securely, can’t be validated, and you have no idea what they’re doing with it. images. Are these players really presenting an authentic image to you, or just what they want to show you? I’m not talking about “fake” here! I’m referring to the changes players make in color, shape, and size.

Most CCTV units can now play around 90% of CCTV and video formats, but for the first responders among you, that number is often much lower. How can you check images if you can’t even read them properly?

Get an image

There are many reasons why you may need to recover a frame from a video after overcoming playback difficulties. The most common reason is that press releases help recognize people in images.

However, it is clear that this still causes huge problems. For example, take a look at this recent press release.

Image: Daniel Wood/Swindon Announcer

It was obviously difficult for the investigators to get the actual CCTV footage, so they resorted to very poor quality ‘screenshots’.

A crime reporting executive recently told me, while talking about some of his challenges with CCTV, “The jobs I handle never go that far because we work with horrendous quality footage in the vague hope to obtain a conviction”.

She was shocked when I told her that in most cases it wasn’t the images that were bad, but the way they were acquired and processed.

CCTV units can get the best images quickly because they not only have the right tools, but they also understand the kind of processing needed to ensure the image is scaled correctly to avoid misrepresentation.

But this takes time and creates backlogs, especially for volume crime.


The presentation of video material is the final part of any CCTV investigation, as the court must be satisfied that what it is seeing is a true and accurate depiction of the event. Therefore, the conversion step can often be tricky to get right.

Automated conversions often reduce the quality, and therefore the value, of the final video because it is not possible to manage the multitude of formats and the individual needs of each case.

Prior to converting images, it may be necessary to label them using text annotations and perhaps highlight a witness or defendant. More often than not, however, it is necessary to redact a witness’s face.

Dedicated video units can do all of this quite simply; they can identify any issues and then perform any post-conversion validation to ensure court requirements are met.

Now that we know what the basics are, wouldn’t it be great if every member of the police had access to an app that allowed them to read, review, restore, extract images, annotate, write and then convert CCTV into a format suitable for DEMS, CPS and courts?

Imagine how much time you could save by transmitting the best images to the media. I mean, the example I mentioned earlier was posted 2 months after the incident!

Finally, what if everything was done in such a way that it could then be evaluated, reproduced and validated. It is this step of protection that is so often lacking.

That’s exactly why Amplified software developed Amplified replay. No more playback issues, full footage control, and easy-to-use features to restore image representation. You’ll be able to bookmark key incidents, create clips, and access all the annotation tools you need. Amped Replay is specifically designed for use within the legal system. We designed it for you.

No need for long training. Watch a short video and you will have the basics. The tabs at the top of the interface will guide you from playback to export. Do what you need to do, export the report and viewing log, attach it to your crime report and you’re done!

“Quick and easy” tasks no longer need to be time-consuming and problematic for the majority of officers and staff. The next time you have a CCTV job, and it falls into the quick and easy category, think how good it would be to get that job done right away, without delay.