Feature on Police Professional | Tackling VAWG and RASSO Impact Days

techUK’s ‘Impact Days’ have been featured on Police Professional, highlighting member and stakeholder contributions around how tech is used and developed to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) and rape and serious sexual offences (RASSO)

See here to read the featured article.

The article references the National Police Chiefs' Council’s VAWG Strategic Threat and Risk Assessment (STRA) Findings Report 2023, which aims to support forces to better understand the influences and levers that contribute to VAWG. The STRA will be used to prioritise and effectively allocate resources and be used to identify where they should focus specialist investigators, victim support and crime-fighting technology.

Setting out wider developments within the VAWG and RASSO space, the article highlights key aspects of the campaign. From supporting victims, to advancing Policing’s investigations of cases, and techUK members and stakeholders’ ideas to resolving these challenges, including seeing the bigger picture within the justice space, to Police Digital Service’s (PDS) support in advancing Forces’ Digital, Data and Technology programmes.

Police Professional highlight;

Supporting investigations through digital, data and technology

Authors: T/DCI Andy Bidmead, digital evidence project lead at the PDS, and DCS Mark Greenhalgh, PDS head of change

“Since autumn 2022, PDS through DEP has explored the range of technologies being used to support RASSO investigations. This work helps build a shared and deeper understanding of how policing uses technology, identify how improvements can be made and establish areas for greater consistency to aid officers with their investigations.

“The 43 territorial forces across England and Wales and British Transport Police, have participated in an ongoing landscape review. This work has identified enhancements, which forces can adopt, and opportunities for national work to drive consistency and support wider work underway to improve investigations.””

Building digital foundations to tackle VAWG

Authors: Naomi Bolton, Account Manager, Blue Light Services, at Cloud Gateway

In her blog for the Tackling VAWG and RASSO Impact Days, she explains: “While all forces are prioritising VAWG and are developing their own plans, each force faces a unique set of challenges in terms of digital provision, and there is not a single digital roadmap that will suit all forces.

“Balancing regional and national priorities remains an issue for UK policing.”

Ms Bolton says the increased use of technology has caused a “significant growth” in the number of sources from which data can be extracted, as well as the volume and variety of data captured.”

Victims are not alone

Author: Scott Fitzmaurice, strategic development director and product owner at Forensic Analytics

““Embracing the digital witness” is now essential in VAWG and RASSO investigations, says Scott Fitzmaurice, strategic development director and product owner at Forensic Analytics.

In his blog, he says the analysis of digital data in 2023 is no longer ‘desirable’ training but ‘essential’. This is of real importance when investigating VAWG offences such as stalking and harassment and RASSO investigations.”

This means an effective baseline of training must be provided to all officers and staff, says Mr Fitzmaurice.

He explains: “Officers and staff are being expected to handle vast amounts of digital data such as communications data records and handset downloads with little or, no training and no access to software solutions that simplify this process.”

Transforming the victim experience through User-Centred Design 

Authors: PwC

‘User-Centred Design’ (UCD), with its focus on empathising with user needs and identifying pain points to make improvements to their experience, has come to the forefront of government and business improvements in recent years.

In its blog for the Tackling VAWG and RASSO Impact Days, PwC says taking a human-led and tech-powered approach to UCD to drive improvement for victims of crime, means not only are services more likely to be fit for purpose, but more importantly victims will feel empowered and valued as a result.”

Supporting domestic violence victims with technology

Author: Nick Stevens, solution consultant at Capita

“Capita is testing technology with a number of police forces and its partner Scram Systems that can offer increased levels of protection and support to vulnerable individuals, victims of domestic abuse and VAWG.

A video submitted for the Tackling VAWG and RASSO Impact Days by Nick Stevens, solution consultant at Capita, explains how this enhanced electronic monitoring service will monitor and manage the proximity between a victim and a perpetrator to:

  • Protect victims from potential crime;
  • Reduce the fear of crime for a victim;
  • Help reduce re-offending;
  • Provide police real-time information; and
  • Provide evidence to support criminal charges that can lead to successful prosecution.”

Full contributions to the Campaign can be found here.