Is it a knife?

It would appear that things got a bit out of hand a recent festival, and a large number of people decided that they would rather cause a riot and try to break into the venue rather than stay at home and have a cup of tea.

Now, as is the norm these days, those people that didn’t fancy getting into the thick of it, didn’t just go home. They stay around, whip their phones out and start recording! This has provided quite a few images and videos of the said fracas.

Putting everything to one side for a moment – can I just say that, the single uniformed officer here does brilliantly, in what could have been a really nasty situation.

OK, the question all over Social media, “Is this a knife?”


Direct from Twitter

The first problem is that its on YouTube – This means that its been transcoded from its original recording type.

After downloading the highest quality held by YouTube, with no further re compression, it’s possible to identify a number of key pieces of information. The resolution of the image and the frame rate.

The frame rate was 25. This is quite unusual for this type of video as they are more commonly 30 or 60. This may suggest some processing of the video prior to user upload. This is often done to reduce file size. So, it could have been transcoded once by the user and then again by YouTube.

The visual part of the video contains 7169 frames. There is a lot of irregular motion blur caused by movement of subjects and movement of the camera.


By analyzing the video frame by frame, here using Amped FIVE, its much easier to attempt to establish what it is.

Frame 6042

Frame 6042

Frame 6043

Frame 6043

In frames 6042 and 6043, an area of lighter colour with green tones can be seen above the shorts and below the top.

Frame 6153

Frame 6153

Frame 6154

Frame 6154

This lighter area with green tones can be seen more clearly in frames 6153 and 6154.

There were a number of other frames of interest, highlighting some other indicators of why he places his hand in his pocket seconds before, but keeping on track with the question at hand… is it a knife?


Early indications would suggest (luckily), that it was likely not a knife.

I will leave all the other aspects of the video, including the males behaviour, out of this post as its only fair to attempt to answer that one question.

What this does highlight though, is the importance of having people available that are able to acquire, review and correctly interpret video within a forensic environment.

To assist in getting the video from YouTube (or similar), there is a guide in the comments below, or follow along to this short demo…

By Spreadys Posted in EEPIP Tagged

6 comments on “Is it a knife?

  1. From the images you’ve posted I want to say he’s just wearing green underwear. Definitely a tough one though.

    The green makes me think that if it is a knife, it’d either be a reflection, or more likely the ‘oil-slick’ or ‘jet fuel’ style of anodizing.

    Interesting post. What tool/site did you use to download the video? I’ve used ‘KeepVid’ in the past but it would be interesting to try a few different options and compare – even a screen capture to see what the differences are/may be.

    It’d actually be useful, too – in the unfortunate circumstances where YouTube is the only option to retreive the footage, knowing which tool provides the best (most accurate) results.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s