Aug 9, 2019 by Foresight

Ensuring Fair Trial in a Criminal Defence Case: Is Cell Site Analysis the Answer to Accessing the Truth?

How much time does each of us spend attached to our phone? How much does each of us rely on our phone for communication? Constant technological advancements drive our modern world; in every sector, in our private and professional lives, most of us rely upon technology. Whilst technology has encouraged and supported the progression and expansion of our capabilities in medicine, business, communications, it has also become commonplace for criminal activity and the planning of criminal activity.

Cell site analysis plays a fundamental role in finding evidence to confirm or challenge an accusation of criminal activity. For solicitors acting on a criminal defence case, finding the truth is not only solving a puzzle, it is the roots of justice and the promise of a fair trial. As providers of the most targeted network of UK expert witnesses, we take a look at the ways in which cell site analysis can prevent the miscarriage of justice and ensure fair trial.

What is Cell Site Analysis?

Cell site analysis uses the data stored by network providers. The data is collected by mobile phone masts. This is what we refer to as the ‘cell site’ and each one has several antennae with a unique cell ID. In order to maintain signal, a mobile phone accesses these cell sites constantly, whether or not it is in use, and during that time a cell data record (CDR) is stored. That means whenever a person makes a call, sends a text message, uses the internet, or indeed if their phone remains idle within a cell site’s coverage area, it can be tracked. The data covers the time and date of connection to the cell site, communication with other devices, the duration of the communication, who contacted whom, the device’s unique IMEI number, the phone number, and where the person has moved geographical location, the data can show the first and last cell ID used. For a solicitor with a criminal defence case, the assistance of a cell site analysis expert witness is often essential to piece together the truth.

Cell Site Analysis to Identify Geographical Location

As noted above, a cell site analysis expert witness is able to examine the records of data collected at particular cell sites which provided the coverage for a given mobile device. The evidence gathered can help the cell site analysis expert witness to get a strong idea of where an individual was, where they travelled to, by what mode of transport they may have travelled, and ultimately, alongside other evidence, determine whether or not the mobile of the accused individual was indeed at or around the scene of the crime. Alongside evidence provided by the police, they may determine whether the accused was present at the time of the crime. Unsurprisingly, the instruction of a cell site analysis expert witness can give significant weight to a solicitor’s case.

Establish Frequency and Volume of Communication to Other Mobile Devices

Whilst cell site analysis cannot give the content of a call, it can show whereabouts and how frequently communication was made between any two devices. This is very significant; where the accused has provided an alibi to prove their innocence, the cell site analysis expert can scrutinise the recorded data to confirm or disprove the alibi.

Not only that, by piecing together records of people with whom the accused individual has been in contact, the cell site analysis expert witness can decipher whether or not they were a part of the initial organised criminal activity , or indeed part of a larger criminal network. In some cases, the cell site analysis expert witness will find evidence that more than one individual is involved, that further criminal activity was planned, or even that the accused had been set up to falsely take responsibility for another person’s actions. It is therefore imperative that a cell site analysis expert be appointed to give a clearer picture of the truth.

All of the evidence gathered by the cell site analysis expert witness is written into a comprehensive and manageable report which can be used directly by the solicitor both in building their case and in court. By accessing a far more cemented idea of the truth, the solicitor’s case is undoubtedly strengthened alongside the opportunity for a fair trial. If you require a cell site analysis expert witness for your case, get in touch with one of our dedicated case managers today.



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