Mobile Phone Attribution
When the content of a device, or the location of a device is key to an investigation, the prosecution will complete an attribution assessment in order to prove to a court that a person is responsible for the usage of that device.
There are many ways to prove or disprove attribution, such as:
Device examination - Examining the contents of the device such as account, social media profiles, messages, photos, and frequent locations.
Subscriber Information – Who pays the bill or who is topping up the phone.
CDR Analysis – Reviewing the contents of a call data record to look at frequent callers, frequent cells used and co-location with another device. These will fall under the remit of Cell Site Analysis.
Cell Site Expert evidence is often overlooked when considering attribution, as it is commonplace for an analyst to present facts from a call data record, leaving a jury to draw opinion from the results. This is often misleading and in our experience is often not explained adequately for a jury member to make an informed decision of the limitations of such data.
Independent attribution assessments may find that the processes undertaken cannot be relied upon and therefore the evidence can be withdrawn.
Common factors in attribution can be, Home Location Analysis, Top Cell Analysis, Co-location and Non-Co-location Analysis. Putting the results of all types of analysis together presents a more balanced picture of device usage enabling appropriate conclusions to be drawn.
If you think that a device has not adequately been attributed to your client, or you wish to refute what has been presented, get in touch.