World-first in crime scene mapping for Queensland Police

THE FUTURE of crime-fighting has arrived, with the Queensland Police Service announcing the introduction of world leading technology which significantly reduces the time taken to map a crime scene.

The Zebedee scanner, developed by the CSIRO, is a hand held laser device which allows an operator to walk through a crime scene and capture data to generate a 3D map in about 20 minutes. The first device cost $37,000.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the Queensland police were the first in the world to use the technology in law enforcement after it was originally designed for caving and mine mapping.


“The benefits of this new technology will reduce interference at a scene, save time and allow access to previously hard to reach areas such as step declines and bushland,” Commissioner Stewart said.

“This cutting edge technology is allowing us to adapt to a new environment of ongoing change and improvement.

“We look forward to continuing our working relationship with CSIRO to explore new technology that will benefit our officers in their duties.”

Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said the Zebedee Scanner was primarily being used by Forensic Services to map crime scenes but has the potential to be used by the Forensic Crash Unit.

“This scanner is another example of how, after years of Labor neglect, the Newman Government has taken steps to move the Queensland Police Service into the 21st century.”

Science, Information Technology, Innovation and Arts Minister Ian Walker said he visited CSIRO’s Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies last year, where the Zebedee Scanner was developed.

“Zebedee demonstrates how research and technology moves from the lab into commercialisation, with real and positive benefits for Queenslanders,” Mr Walker said.

“The Newman Government recognises how important the ongoing development of talent in the science sector is, which we’ve demonstrated with the injection of $8.75 million in the Accelerate program through the Science and Innovation Action Plan and our $42 million commitment to the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine in North Queensland.

“Zebedee is another example of Queensland’s strength in science and innovation.”

CSIRO Computational Informatics Dr Jonathan Roberts said the CSIRO would continue to explore ways to improve the technology and explore more uses for it.

“The latest research version contains a video camera to provide imagery on top of the 3D laser information,” Dr Roberts said.

“We’re very excited to see our home-grown, Eureka Prize-winning technology being used to help assess crime scenes – a new addition to what seems to be an ever-expanding number of applications.

“The 3D data visualisations that Zebedee creates provide a wealth of spatial information quickly and easily. It’s just a walk in the park!”