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Co Antrim forensics firm eyes up an export drive to the US market

By Margaret Canning

Published 01/07/2015

Heather Grills and George McKinney, Invest NI
Heather Grills and George McKinney, Invest NI

A computer forensics company in Co Antrim is embarking on an export programme to sell its software packages to police forces and the courts in the US.

The company, whose investigations of mobile phone use and CCTV can be crucial to the outcome of court cases, is creating two new jobs with the support of Invest NI for its US export drive.

Founder and director Heather Grills said the company had focused its sales efforts on the UK until now, but added: "After completing in-depth market research we feel it is now time to widen our scope and have identified opportunities to generate new sales in the US market."

Ms Grills studied electrical and electronic engineering at Queen's before further study in computer forensics.

George McKinney, Invest NI director of technology and services, said: "It is excellent to see a small indigenous company investing in long-term growth.

"Despite its relatively small size, First Forensic Solutions has been very successful in the UK market to date and will bring a wealth of experience to targeted markets overseas."

The company states that its three experts - David Nabi and Stephen Grills, as well as Ms Grills - have "significant forensic casework and telecommunication industry experience".

All three have given evidence at Crown Court.

The company said: "We have built and designed specialised radio frequency surveying equipment which has been utilised for forensic casework throughout the UK.

"We regularly provide specialist training on all aspects of digital forensics to both law enforcement and private forensic companies."

The company can also analyse call data records, and computer records as well as enhance CCTV footage and audio recordings.

In criminal investigations, call data records and radio frequency measurements can be used to produce reports on the position and movement of mobile phones - which First Forensic said "can either back-up or disprove statements relating to an investigation".

Invest NI is providing funding of £35,000 towards the two new jobs - a software engineer and an account manager - and towards the company's export plans.

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