Using Voice Biometrics in Law Enforcement: Audio Forensics

By January 20, 2019Voice of the Customer
Audio Forensics

When it comes to audio forensics, many of us can easily imagine a scene where some serious-looking guys listen to an audio recording while looking at an audio waveform on a computer screen.

Thanks to increasing media coverage about dramatic court cases and popular fictional entertainment series like Crime Scene Investigation, everybody is now familiar with audio forensics.

What Is Audio Forensics?

As a field of forensic science, audio forensics combines audio engineering and digital signature processing techniques to evaluate audio data as part of a legal proceeding or an official investigation.

Before being used as a piece of evidence, audio data is evaluated in terms of its authenticity, any modifications it includes, and its relevance to the goals of the investigation. Audio evidence can be obtained from different resources, such as an acoustical recording system (such as a cockpit voice recorder), a call center recording, a voice mail message, or a surveillance tape acquired during a criminal investigation.

Audio Forensics Tools

Voice is a biometric identifier because, like fingerprints and retinas, each voice is unique to one individual. Therefore, a person’s voice can distinguish her from others, making it possible to identify a person by comparing her voiceprint with the recorded voiceprints of other people.

Audio forensics tools use voice biometrics technology to analyze voice and assist forensics experts in their crime prevention and investigation efforts.

By using these tools, forensics experts can:

  • Determine whether a voice belongs to a specific person
  • Test to see if a recording has been edited or altered
  • Compare a target speaker with a database of possible candidates
  • Accurately match an individual’s identity with the audio evidence content
  • Verify an individual’s identity with an audio recording

Benefits of Forensic Voice Analysis

Accurate Investigation Results

Forensic voice analysis solutions answer law enforcement and crime prevention needs by offering comprehensive forensic audio mining capabilities. These audio forensics tools contribute to securing justice by providing courts with proven biometric identification results.

With advanced voice biometrics features, forensics experts can easily detect samples of speech in an audio recording and identify speakers in just moments, no matter the gender, language, accent, or speech content involved.  These biometrics features include:

  • Speaker identification, which confirms or disproves the identity of an individual by analyzing audio evidence
  • Speech-silence detection, which automatically detects speech or silence in audio samples and labels different sections appropriately as one or the other
  • Formant verification, which allows for one-to-one comparisons of formant distributions of audio recordings
  • Speaker diarization, which differentiates between multiple voices in a single-channel recording of speech
  • Gender identification, which automatically detects the gender of the speaker

Together, these features ensure identity verification with high accuracy.

Faster Investigation

Forensics experts are racing against time, because every moment counts in a criminal investigation.  Forensic voice analysis tools help law enforcement and security experts save essential time in prosecuting suspects.

Audio forensics tools analyze up to hundreds of audio files in just a few minutes. This far outpaces the amount of evidence a human could review in the same amount of time. Users may compare several audio recordings at the same time, including any audio evidence that is relevant to the investigation. Rather than listening to each one individually—which could take hours and hours—users can quickly narrow in on a suspicious individual’s identity in moments.

With fast, visualized voice biometrics, forensic voice analysis tools enable experts to assess audio evidence at a glance. Thus, they can complete voice treatment and speaker identification in record time, saving hours of time that would otherwise be spent listening to recordings in full.

Practical Tool for Experts

Audio forensics tools aid in criminal investigations by providing a fast, simple, and accurate speaker identification process. They ensure easy-to-use and practical audio analysis for forensics experts.

The tools allow experts to organize and refer to any audio files relevant to their investigation. They also offer multiple archiving features that allow users to archive any analyses in case they are needed in the future.

By offering this practical application, audio forensics tools help experts to complete voice treatment easily, saving not only time but also energy. With this minimized workload, experts can give their full attention to the investigations, which will increase their chances of success.

Sestek Forensic Voice Analysis

Sestek Forensic Voice Analysis is a biometric audio forensics solution. The solution analyzes audio evidence accurately by applying voice biometrics technology in a way that makes it easier to work with audio evidence. It assists forensics experts and security organizations complete voice treatment and speaker identification processes accurately.

Thanks to Sestek’s 19 years of experience in the speech technology industry, the solution provides highly accurate and reliable voice analysis results.

To learn more about Sestek Forensic Voice Analysis, please visit our product page.

Author Hilal Bakanay

Senior Marketing Specialist, Sestek https://www.linkedin.com/in/hilalbakanay/

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