IT Forensics Training for Kosovo Police

18 February 2016

Between February 15 - 18, EULEX’s Executive Police Department held a training workshop at the Kosovo Academy for Public Safety in Vushtrri/Vucitrn. The training focused on establishing fully functional IT forensic capacities and enhancing the skills of Kosovo Police (KP) Crime Scene technicians to professionally handle electronic evidence. EULEX’s Executive Police Department collaborated with KP’s Forensic Directorate to conduct the specialized training for KP forensics specialists and investigators. As an addition to the training, EULEX donated equipment to be used in IT forensics.

Digital forensics can provide evidence related to the motive, insight, and chronology of events of a particular crime. They can also establish a perpetrators interest and activities, as well as the links between multiple crimes - delivering important leads in many criminal investigations.

“This training is very important to Kosovo Police and our fight against Organized Crime. Considering that nowadays almost everything is digitalized, police officers have to be prepared to prevent and fight the most challenging of crimes. This includes cybercrime and other crimes involving digital devices,” explains Lt.Colonel Florie Hajra, Director of Forensic Investigations Directorate at Kosovo Police.

The training was designed to explain the importance of electronic evidence in the process of a criminal investigation. Participants had the opportunity to learn from EULEX and KP IT forensics experts about issues such as identifying electronic evidence at a crime scene, the preservation, collection, and transportation of electronic evidence, and the digital examination process.  They also gained insight on how forensic IT experts present their findings in court and how digital evidence is used to prosecute e-crimes, but also other types of crime as well. 

KP’s IT Forensics Unit is only two years old. It lacks some of important IT forensics equipment which is needed to acquire forensically sound images that can be used as evidence in court. Moreover, forensic units in Regional Police Directorates do not possess adequate equipment and there is a need to increase the knowledge to collect and store electronic evidence as required – a necessary aspect in collaborating on crime investigations. As electronic evidence needs to be handled via remote access, this presents another serious challenge. However, despite all of these shortcomings, KP is keen on improving.

“Since we are quite new in this field, EULEX colleagues have always provided tremendous support to us while working on criminal cases. When working on digital investigations, we use their equipment and share professional knowledge,” says Lt. Colonel Florie Hajra.

EULEX’s Executive Police Department supports KP on an operational basis but also through small scale projects that aim to increase the overall capacity of Kosovo Police. “Assessment and analysis of the needs of this unit started six months ago and, today, we are finally here to handover IT forensics equipment which will help you acquire forensically sound images. We will share the knowledge with you on how to handle electronic evidence which is crucial in fighting organized crime,” said Oliver Hoffmann, the Deputy Head of the Executive Division / Head of Executive Police. 

EULEX Executive Police will follow-up on the results and impact of the training in order to design similar workshops in near future.