Police yesterday showed off the world's first Chinese-language crime-busting software designed to gather evidence up to the standard of proof required in court. The move comes as the profiles of computer-based criminals have switched from hackers who want to show off their skills to those intent on making money through commercial fraud and computer theft. Jointly developed by University of Hong Kong computer security experts and the force's computer specialists, the digital forensic software is designed to help less technically inclined officers in their investigations. 'All activities on a suspect's computer before and after it was seized would be completely recorded,' so the defence would not be able to argue that the police had tampered with the computer, Assistant Police Commissioner Yam Tat-wing said at the software launch at the university. The software can retrieve deleted files and records, lock the hard drive to preserve evidence and trace and profile suspects' activities on their computers. Commercial Crime Bureau Chief Superintendent Lo Yik-kee said the software would be put to use immediately. 'You can do a blind search on a suspect's computer and that could take days or even weeks . . . A piece of forensic software like this one would make any search that much quicker.' There were 15 reports of e-banking and other computer theft in the first 10 months of this year, compared with none last year. Computer-related deception and fraud cases stood at 58 by October this year, up from 29 in the whole of last year. In contrast, cases of unauthorised access to computers or other information networks - the favoured activities of hackers - have dropped to 28 this year, compared with 53 last year.