The Ontario Provincial Police celebrated the opening of a new facility dedicated to cyber operations on Monday.
“With the rapid acceleration of technology and global access through the internet, crime has become increasingly sophisticated, dramatically changing the nature of policing and public safety,” Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a statement.
“Most criminal investigations rely on the recovery and analysis of some type of digital evidence — whether device-based or internet-based.”
The OPP’s Cyber Operations Centre is now home to the cyber operations section, including a cyber crime investigations team, a digital forensics unit and a forensic video analysis unit.
The centre is comprised of uniform, special constables and civilian members who possess highly technical skills that are required to assist with search warrants, collecting evidence or providing sophisticated digital analysis.
“The Cyber Operations Centre will allow the OPP to host all of its cybercrime investigative and forensic digital evidence resources under one roof,” Jones said in the statement.
“The facility will support more than 50 staff who will apply their expertise to support criminal investigations, performing tasks that will provide crucial evidence for both investigators and prosecutors.”
The cybercrime investigation team is responsible for investing cybercrimes in Ontario where technology is the target, assisting to investigate conventional crimes with an online component, and collecting, analyzing and sharing cybercrime intelligence data, OPP say.
The digital forensics unit helps with the identification, preservation, forensic recovery, analysis and interpretation of digital data from an electronic device, police add.
Finally, the forensic video analysis unit will look at multiple video sources in a forensically-sound environment that will help the OPP to investigate crimes, police say.
“Public safety is a fundamental responsibility of government, and we are determined to provide police officers with the tools, resources and support they need to combat crime on all fronts,” Jones finished.