Queensland police will be the first in the world to use technology originally designed for caving and mine mapping to help in crime scene analysis and recording.

New technology from the CSIRO is bringing in the future of crime-fighting for the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart says the Zebedee scanner will significantly reduce the time taken to map a crime scene.

“The benefits of this new technology will reduce interference at a scene, save time and allow access to previously hard-to-reach areas such as step declines and bushland,” Commissioner Stewart says. “This cutting edge technology is allowing us to adapt to a new environment of ongoing change and improvement.

“We look forward to continuing our working relationship with CSIRO to explore new technology that will benefit our officers in their duties.”

Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey says the Zebedee scanner, a handheld device that allows the operator to walk through a scene and capture data to generate a 3D map in only 20 minutes, had potential use in other areas.

“The Newman Government promised to revitalise frontline services and embracing cutting edge technology will better help police officers do their job protecting Queensland communities,” says Dempsey. “The Zebedee Scanner is primarily being used by Forensic Services to map crime scenes but has the potential to be used by the Forensic Crash Unit.”

Science, Information Technology, Innovation and Arts Minister Ian Walker said he visited CSIRO’s Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies lab while the new scanner was being developed.

“Zebedee demonstrates how research and technology moves from the lab into commercialisation, with real and positive benefits for Queenslanders,” says Walker. “The Newman Government recognises how important the ongoing development of talent in the science sector is… Zebedee is another example of Queensland’s strength in science and innovation.”

Dr Jonathan Roberts from CSIRO’s Computational Informatics says they’re very pleased with the use of the technology by frontline QPS.

“We’re very excited to see our home-grown, Eureka Prize-winning technology being used to help assess crime scenes – a new addition to what seems to be an ever-expanding number of applications,” says Dr Roberts. ““The 3D data visualisations that Zebedee creates provide a wealth of spatial information quickly and easily. It’s just a walk in the park!

Dr Roberts added that the CSIRO would continue to explore ways to improve the scanner and discover other uses for the technology.

“The latest research version contains a video camera to provide imagery on top of the 3D laser information,” says Dr Roberts.

What do you think about this new innovation? Do you think the future of crime-fighting has arrived? Let us know!