Tim Cousins & Associates recognises the challenges of handling evidence and maintaining a chain of custody all of which requires proper storage, movement tracking and security. This becomes a significant issue as many forensic matters can take up to 4 - 5 years to be resolved.

Fortunately we have an Australian Standard to assist us and one that we use as our guiding principle.

Australian Standard 5388.1-2012 Forensic analysis
Part 1: Recognition, recording, recovery, transport and storage of material

The recognition, recording and recovery of appropriate and adequate physical material plays a vital role in subsequent analytical and comparative processes. We will therfore collect and store forensic evidence in accordance with this Standard after consideration of the following:

(a) OHS considerations for the examiner at the scene.
(b) The dignity and wellbeing of persons involved.
(c) The type of material.
(d) The size or quantity of material required for analysis.
(e) The environment or matrix in which the material is situated.
(f) The persistence of the material.
(g) The stability and volatility of the material.
(h) If possible, the preservation of material or samples from that material for re-examination.

We also recognise that Digital Photographs are potential evidence and may become exhibits which should be traceable at all times. With this in mind we will capture and store digital images in accordance with this Standard.

7.4.2 Digital Image Capture
The photographic record of the scene shall not be deleted from short-term media until after the primary images have been saved to long-term storage media )see Clause 7.4.3)

7.4.3 Digital Image Storage

Primary images shall be saved on suitable long-term media as soon as is reasonably
possible. When it is foreseen that there will be an extended period of time prior to saving
primary or original images to long-term media, then the short-term storage media shall be
stored appropriately to ensure its integrity until the long-term storage can be carried out. If
this occurs then it shall be documented.
Enhancement of an original image shall not be carried out prior to the image being saved to
long-term storage media. Image processing (including minor enhancements) shall only be
performed on working copies once original images have been safeguarded.