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Stratford company at the cutting edge of digital forensics

Wellesbourne Airfield
Wellesbourne Airfield

Employing around 150 people, CCL work with around 70% of police forces in the country, providing advice on cybercrime but also a range of services to build evidence for the authorities.

Specialists at CCL analyse PCs, tablets, sat navs, and a number of other devices, providing a range of services that include recovering deleted data, CCTV forensics and social media monitoring.

It is an exciting time for the company which this month expanded into a brand new building next door to its current facility on Timothy Bridge Road.

The new facility, which incorporates a state-of-the-art training academy to provide practical experience for digital forensics graduates, was opened by the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police Chris Sims, OBE.

Mr Sims said: “There really aren’t any serious cases that we work on that do not require some element of digital forensics. I came here when you opened your first building in 2009 and I said that this area of forensics would just grow and grow and low and behold it has grown and grown and that growth shows no sign of slowing down.

“You make a massive difference to how we tackle crime and you will continue to do so.”

The single biggest growth area in digital forensics is in mobile phones and for CCL this is a major focus.

Most of us don’t think about it but smartphones carry an immense amount of data about the user’s habits and movements which can provide a vital tool for police.

Smartphones hold emails, records of internet activity, social media accounts, pictures, videos not to mention call and text records.

CCL are able to analyse all of this but a particularly interesting service is that of cell site analysis, which, by using call records, can narrow down an area in which the phone was used, through locating the various phone signal masts that were communicating with the device.

This could be very useful for police investigating a burglary for instance because it could pinpoint an area in which that phone was used at a specific time.

Stewart Wilks, head of marketing at CCL, said: “You might expect CCL to be based somewhere like London but Stratford really is a great place for us, it’s got close links to London and Birmingham, we’re not far from a fantastic recruiting pool with graduates from places like Warwick and we’re fairly near GCHQ.

“We expect to grow our workforce by 20% over the next year, creating new hi-tech jobs in Stratford. People see this building from the outside and just think it’s just like every other office, but we really are at the forefront of technology.”

The constantly changing nature of technology, with new devices hitting the shelves every day, poses constant challenges in terms of digital forensics but at CCL a team is dedicated to reverse engineering new technology as soon as it comes on the market.

By doing this the company is always prepared and can analyse any new device when requested to do so.

When collecting electronic evidence for criminal investigations the company takes extremely strict measures to ensure the information is accurate and reliable so it can be presented in a court.

It’s not just police investigations that concern those working at CCL though, corporate work and consultancy is a key part of what they do helping businesses improve practices and cyber security.

CCL can help companies monitor their employees’ computer behaviour and draw attention to any suspicious behaviour which could potentially damage that company.

For example if a company believes an employee is passing on confidential material CCL can detect and even predict this behaviour using specialist software.

With Warwickshire police recently highlighting the ever increasing damage done by cybercrime, CCL in Stratford is clearly doing its bit to hit back at criminals.

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