It was a high-profile homicide case with no information to establish the killing of the victim. Over 2,500 documents, more than 40,000 text messages and 4,200 phone calls, but there were no witnesses. As time progressed, the significant volume of both structured and unstructured data being collected and generated led to a large backlog of unprocessed documents containing valuable evidence and intelligence.
Following several months of intense investigation by police forces, the decision was made to use Wynyard, a New Zealand-based risk management and crime fighting software used in investigations and intelligence operations by government agencies and financial organisations.
Started in 2011, Wynyard solutions help solve and prevent crime, defend against advanced persistent cyber threats and counter terrorism. The platform combines Big Data, advanced crime analytics and tradecraft to identify persons of interest, stop offenders and protect victims.
“We saw that organised crime was increasing with the growth of technology. But there was nothing available in the market that could help solve organised and serious crime. Wynyard’s solutions focus on critical problems facing the world today, from organised crime, people trafficking, child exploitation, terrorism, digital device evidence, financial fraud, money laundering to highly advanced cyber threats. The crime solving algorithms identify entities, relationships and events of interest and provide intelligence and evidence to help front-line agents and investigators prevent and solve crime,” said Craig Richardson, CEO and Managing Director of Wynyard Group.
In 2011, four core members of what is today the Wynyard Group executive team developed a plan to assemble a product portfolio that could connect three mission critical processes – risk and threat assessment, advanced crime analytics, and investigative case management – to solve growing threat, crime and corruption problems in the financial, government and national infrastructure sectors.
After extensive market research and global testing, shareholders approved increased investment in product development and in early 2012 Wynyard Group was launched as a brand. It signed a product commercialisation agreement with the New Zealand Police and the Australian Federal Police.
2013 was a year of note for Wynyard Group. The year saw Wynyard list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, raise US$100 million in capital and expand new business globally including deals with the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office, Queensland Rail, Thai Customs and financial services in the Middle East, as well as release several new advanced solutions to help tackle problems like gun crime, money laundering, fraud and compliance obligations. In 2014, Wynyard announced its new global research and development facility.
How does it help fight crime?
Wynyard’s software and technology platform delivers crime analytics to help specialist teams in organisations predict, prevent and solve serious crimes that are highly complex, Big Data-driven, multi-agency and often transnational in nature.
“The operational risk solution enables government agencies, financial institutions and corporations to document and visualise operational risks, assess controls and monitor risk mitigation plans. Wynyard’s Fraud Analytics solution uses the power of advanced analytics to detect, prevent and report fraud,” explained Richardson.
The anti-money laundering solution of Wynyard helps organisations detect suspicious financial transactions, counter the funding of terrorism, understand and meet their compliance obligations.
Another interesting feature is the Wynyard’s Gun Crime Analytics solution that is built to help solve gun crimes by linking ballistics and other data sources to expose patterns and relationships.
The mobile device analytics helps in connecting data generated by mobile devices with other intelligence to help investigators and intelligence analysts prevent and solve crime.
The firm claims to have more than 120,000 users across government and financial services with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United Arab Emirates.
“We have a crime advisory board of former FBI, GCHQ and DHS experts in threat assessment, criminal intelligence, serious crime investigations and digital forensics. These advisers provide guidance on strategy and product development based on their domain knowledge, skills and operational experience as well as access to international markets via their networks,” said Richardson.
As per the company, the advanced crime analytics software and services market stands at US$5 billion. According to a research by the Wynyard Group in the US, 35 per cent of agencies use the crime fighting software and 63 per cent of those use it for combating drug-related crimes. And 90 per cent people believe that crime fighting software will be become the industry norm.
There are various companies developing similar software in different parts of the world. Wynyard faces competition from Palantir in the US that has similar features but Richardson believes that none of its competitors have specialised in the area of advanced and serious crimes.
Barriers to adoption
The greatest impediment in the implementation of such software in the community is limited budgets. According to the previously mentioned survey, 45 per cent echo this thought. Lack of training and understanding of the software is also challenging. According to Richardson, finding the right local partner in every country is always difficult. “It also challenging to understand the local crime environment in every country as each one of them is different,” he said.
Expansion in Asia
Wynyard has presence is Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia. It has started discussions to expand in Singapore and Hong Kong. “Asia is an important market for us because it is a developing economy and with the growth of any economy comes the growth in organised crime. It is no secret that some parts of Southeast Asia have huge problems of human and drug trafficking. Asia presents a huge opportunity,” Richardson concluded.
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