It was snow boots at the ready this week to begin our latest partnership project. We have teamed up with tech and IT sector leaders CGI, who run the Police National Database. At the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) / College of Policing Problem Solving conference this week, our Strategy and Insight Manager Sophie du Mont asked police officers and leaders to help us identify solutions to tackling domestic abuse, and preventing it from happening in the first place.
The scale of the problem is truly shocking. 1.9 million adults reported experiencing domestic abuse last year, and 1.1 million intelligence records related to it are stored on the Police National Database. 1 in 10 of all offences recorded by the police in England and Wales are related to domestic abuse which equates to a call every 30 seconds. Most chilling of all, the number is recorded offences is likely to widely underestimate the true scale of those affected.
Domestic abuse is currently one of the lowest reasons for searches of the police national database. Of the 6.9 million searches made on the Police National Database last year, only 3 percent related to domestic abuse. More worryingly, there is huge variation between forces and how much they use searches. The force that makes the most searches is responsible for 36% of all domestic abuse related searches. The force that makes the second highest number of searches makes up just 4%.
Our project will combine criminal justice with tech expertise to develop practical and innovative ways to ensure better outcomes for those experiencing, or who are vulnerable to, domestic abuse.
Already we know that, despite significant improvements made by police and other statutory agencies across the country to tackle domestic abuse in recent years, there are inconsistencies in approach between forces. In particular, issues like data sharing still require significant attention and collaboration to improve – a lot of which we can develop solutions to now.
A particularly strong message, from the conference speakers who included Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, NPCC Chief Sara Thornton and HMICFRS’ Zoe Billingham, was the need for collaboration and partnership working to ‘solve’ issues affecting our justice system. To truly make a difference, we know our project can’t be delivered in isolation. To properly test ideas and understand opportunities for innovation, we want to hear from stakeholders from right across the criminal justice system; from practitioners, victims, and policymakers, to other stakeholders from government, the third sector and tech sector.
The more people we speak to, the better the solutions we will develop. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please get in touch. Register your interest by sending your thoughts to us, engaging with us or simply ask to be kept informed about our project – firstname.lastname@example.org
As a former policy researcher for a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving transparency in the Colombian oil industry, Sophie is used to analysing complex issues.
At Crest, Sophie analyses and evaluates statistics and existing policies affecting the criminal justice system. She uses qualitative and quantitative research to test theories and understand trends, such as modelling the demand on prison populations and looking at how local police forces interact with their communities.