The use of Global Positioning System has grown at an accelerated over the years. Its vast use is adaptable by a number of industries; however, the judicial or law enforcement segment has also resorted to bringing GPS to use for proving the guilt or innocence of a suspected felon. With the increasing number of technological devices, it has become immensely admissible for a law enforcement department for capturing a suspect within the shortest span of time. However, on the contrary, the excessive number of technological device also enables a criminal to manipulate the accuracy and validity of the alibi. Nonetheless, the use of GPS plays a contributory if not a major role in proving the extent of guilt or innocence pertinent to a suspect.
What does a GPS tracking device do?
A majority of the people are familiar with GPS tracking devices for its ability to track a location, enabling shortest routes, saving fuel costs, and improving customer services. However, with the modifications made to the GPS tracking devices, the judicial system has considered using GPS tracking devices for confirming the stance of an offender, and the retrieved information is compared to the statement given by a witness. If the information and timings of the statement are in congruence then, it leverages a judge to make a verdict against the innocence of an offender. However, if the given information does not match accurately, it may prove the suspiciousness of an offender, which would allow the judge to take an action regarding the fate of the criminal.
Use of GPS tracking devices for proving guilt or innocence:
The given scenarios determine the use of GPS tracking devices for facilitating the guilt or innocence of an offender/suspected individual. Let’s consider that a criminal has gotten away with a crime, and a law enforcement agency is notified on an instant basis, and it provokes them to take an action regarding a criminal immediately. It also drives them to apprehend a criminal on the scene of the crime without wasting any time. For instance, for proving the authenticity of a crime, the time and place of the suspect is measured using the GPS tracking devices installed in the given locations or vehicles. The proof is further is further supplemented with physical evidence and witness testimony, which allows the prosecutor to take a decision for confirming the guilt or innocence of an individual.
However, if a law enforcement fails to recognize a suspect within the shortest span of time, and it takes time for discovering and learning the motives of a criminal—it resorts them to seeking concrete evidence for ensuring the arrest of the criminal. However, having a unsubstantial amount of evidence does not guarantee convicting the suspect, and it requires a law enforcement to dig deeply into the matter. If a prosecutor is able to seed a suspect in the proximity or locality of the crime scene, it could leverage him to corroborate miscellaneous data for establishing guilt regarding a most wanted criminal.
A majority of the cellular companies are keen on the accumulation of records, and they are more likely to provide the information to law enforcement for determining the location of a suspect. However, on a realistic level, the cell phone record is not considered to be an ideal source for the collection of data.
Role of GPS for tracking cellular phones:
There are several methods for tracking cellular phones; however, the most approachable methods used for tracking cellular phones are strongly pertinent to the use of GPS technology, interpretation of historical cell site data, and capturing real-time cell site data. When these technologies are used in congruence, it could notify law enforcement on the occurrence of a crime, and it leads it to finding the presence of a suspected offender. However, if the offender does not pledge to admit to conducting a crime—it requires law enforcement to take actions for confirming the validity of the evidence.
GPS technology is known for its ability to locate the position of a receiver, and it can track the presence of a caller or a receiver in a real-time manner. It is also used for making a record up to few meters. The GPS receivers are widely available and accessible to a number of users, and it is considered to be an ideal way for tracking a location accurately.
If a criminal has been making suspected phone calls to his confidant, the GPS tracking devices can retrieve a certain percentage of information, which could prove vital for confirming the guilt or innocence of a criminal.
Types of evidence collected using GPS technology:
The GPS technology is widely regarded for its ability to track cellular phones and the location of a criminal. However, it can only garner a handful of evidences, such as:
- Digital evidence
Digital evidence could be regarded as a type of digital file resourced from an electronic source. Digital evidence primarily encompasses of text messages, emails, files, documents, and instant messages retrieved from audio files, video files, hard drives, electronic financial transactions. Digital evidence can be extracted from the devices, which are calibrated with GPS technology. Also, digital evidence is often extracted using internet searches that are pertinent to open source intelligence like OSINT.
- Circumstantial Evidence
Alternatively known as indirect evidence, it is predominantly represented for infer a matter which is based on a collection of facts. The use of GPS tracking devices is considered to be an excellent tool for determining the extent of circumstantial evidence, and it could be further used for proving the guilt or innocence of a suspect under arrest.
Enhancing investigations with GPS evidence:
A majority of the GPS devices are calibrated with trackpoints, which serve as the electronic breadcrumb trail, which informs law enforcement investigator on the information relevant to the installation and usage of the device. The incorporation of trackpoints enable an investigator to pinpoint the exact location of a criminal, and it leverages their chances for capturing a criminal within the shortest span of time. The trackpoints serve as evidentiary value, which are proven useful for the collection of the relevant data, which could direct a law enforcement towards proving the innocence or guilt of an accused criminal.