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How To Instruct An Imagery Expert

February 02 2023

How To Instruct An Imagery Expert (1)

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If you are thinking of instructing an imagery expert, but aren’t sure how best to go about it, here’s a quick guide to the services we offer and the materials we need to be able to assist.

What do you want us to do?

Our imagery team offers a number of services that may be of use to you, including image improvement, identification of people/objects and analysis of events. When you have a case that would benefit from one of these services, it’s worth giving us a call ahead of sending papers so we can understand your requirements, inform you of what can or can’t be done and provide you with alternative or additional lines of enquiry you may not have considered.

Quality of imagery

What we can observe and report on is entirely dependent upon the quality of the imagery provided to us - which includes both the quality of the original footage and any copy made available by the police. Image quality is often reduced when it is copied into a different format and, for this reason, you should always seek a bit-by-bit copy of the original format imagery. Requesting this early in the process, and ideally ahead of formally instructing us, can massively reduce report preparation delays.

Estimate of costs

We endeavour to have an estimate to you within 24 hours of receiving your enquiry, subject to being provided with the necessary information. Generally speaking, to provide an estimate we will need to know:

  • Your client’s name, and the names of any co-defendants
  • The funding type, e.g. private or Legal Aid
  • When the report is required by
  • What service you need, e.g. enhancement of footage and/or stills, or analysis with an opinion on specific issues
  • What you are hoping to achieve, e.g. what is a person holding, enhancement of a specific frame
  • Whether your request relates to a single or multiple incident and whether footage covers one or more days
  • How much footage there is and from how many cameras. Each individual camera position has to be analysed separately in order to establish what it is showing or what detail it is able to show. Please be aware that video frame rate can vary greatly from one to thirty frames per second, so even relatively short clips can take a great deal of time to analyse frame-by-frame. It is helpful if you can identify the precise start and end points within a video file that are of specific interest.
  • Whether any reference imagery has been taken and whether it is available in a useful format. Imagery taken of a suspect close to the date of arrest can be very helpful, as are any photographs of seized clothing. Low-quality images, such as those inserted into the case papers, are often of insufficient quality to be worked on and the original format imagery should be requested.
  • If facial/body comparison is required, is your client available to be photographed and, if so, where? Facial/body comparison requires us to take reference photographs of your client so we may have to arrange a prison visit or travel to another location.
  • Any questions you want us to address

When we provide our estimates, we draw on our extensive experience of similar cases and aim to provide you with a realistic assessment of how much time it will take to provide the service you need and when you can expect a report. We are always happy to discuss our estimates and to revise them if the scope of work changes.

Get in touch

If you have an imagery enquiry, please contact Andrew Farley, Nigel Cook or Dr Guy Cooper on 0191 332 4999.


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