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Episode 2: Under the microscope

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Robbie Coltrane’s Critical Evidence continues to fascinate with last nights episode “The Perfect Murder” airing at 10pm on CI . Lets take another closer look at the case, delve a little deeper and uncover some hidden truths. Time to go under the microscope.

Last week saw classical techniques being used to solve a seemingly impossible case, this week was a true 21st century crime. In an age where you can be caught on CCTV cameras up to 70 times a day and with over 51,000 CCTV cameras in Britain, it is now providing key pieces of evidence in criminal cases.

In the case of Sameena Imam, at first a missing person who then turned into a murder victim, CCTV proved a crucial piece of critical evidence, helping police piece together her whereabouts and more importantly ascertain whether Roger and David Cooper’s stories were true. Footage showing her buying items from a Marks and Spencer proved that Roger was lying about having ended his relationship with Sameena, as why would she have been buying items for an evening for two, if she hadn’t believed that her and Roger were to be spending a romantic Christmas together. The footage also captured Sameena’s car, clearly being driven by someone other than her, allowing police to map out the movements of the brothers.

This paired with the information that digital forensic officers were able to collect from Roger and David’s phones, began to paint a web of lies that the brothers had concocted. It also revealed a previous failed attempt on Sameena’s life, which only luck alone prevented. Even though the brothers attempted to cover their tracks by deleting messages and talking in code, the secondary data, (the background stream of data created by apps), became another crucial element of evidence. It allowed the investigators to pinpoint the brothers whereabouts, strengthening the CCTV footage and the number plate recognition, which captured an unknown occupant driving Sameena’s car, which police heavily believed was Roger or David Cooper.

The intricate web of deceit was the very thing that ensnared them.

As with all of these cases it was the small details that aroused suspicion from police. Pieces of critical evidence that the Cooper brothers, even in their calculations, could never have accounted for. The intricate web of deceit that they had laid was the very thing that ensnared them.

Ultimately, it was technology that was the downfall of the Cooper brothers, even their coded messages and careful consideration of the circumstantial evidence that was being mounted against them, were of no use. Technology doesn’t have a conscience and it can’t lie. In a time where police are asking for access to messaging apps and increasing surveillance, it does show the importance of technology in apprehending criminals, but it also raises the moral question of personal freedom and levels of state control.

What do you think about the level of surveillance in this country? Tweet us or message us @CI and @CIUK.