We would all agree that getting to the right outcomes for victims is critical to the confidence communities have in reporting offences to the police. 

Research shows that HMICFRS reported an “increase in the proportion of crimes closed because the victim does not support a prosecution rising to 22.6% of recorded crime in 2019 from 20% in 2018. At the same time, a suspect was charged in 7.8% of cases in 2019, compared to 9.1% previously.”

How an investigation is managed to support a positive resolution will vary depending on the offence.

We know investigations are filed as ‘suspect identified but victim declines to support prosecution’ between 11-19 days for most common offence types. 

Therefore the actions on allocation need to reflect the importance of victim contact and swift offender intervention to maintain victim confidence and support in those cases. 

But how can that be made easier? That’s where a tool like CONNECT can help. It’s no longer about just managing records. 

It’s about using that data to support quality investigations and improve case outcomes.

Risk Assessments

HMICFRS recently recommended that Forces “put in place arrangements to make sure that in all investigations the risk to victims has been appropriately assessed and sufficiently documented, and that any risks are mitigated”.  HMICFRS will be including the victim experience in future reviews. 

As a creatable feature in CONNECT, The victim information field is where critical victim information is recorded. Risk assessments can add further support ensuring an assessment is linked to each investigation or focused on those where the victim is more likely to withdraw support such as Violence Against the Person (VAP). It can also help inform and document various other decision points in the investigation or other workflows such as decisions to Release Under Investigation (RUI).

Check out what your RMS offers you in gathering victim insight, to get ahead in the next assessment window.

Question Sets

Question Sets support decision making and act as a guide to investigators and supervisors. They can be used for a range of purposes from initial investigation and reviews to assessing the solvability of an investigation prior to allocation. 

In 2020 HMICFRS stated that in “all forces, there was evidence that their investigations were suffering due to lack of supervision”. There are a number of factors that affect supervision. 

Not least the volume of offences allocated. On average, Sergeants conduct between 30-40 reviews/month. But that can be as high as 80 in some forces.

Solvability question sets can help reduce the volume of allocated crime increasing supervisors capacity, whilst providing a clear evidence base for filing offences. 

Where investigations are allocated, question sets support actions on allocation and can provide specific support based on the nature of the offence, and with different outcome profiles across offences, this can be critical. In violence-related offences, investigations with evidential difficulties are often filed before the first review, meaning early investigative action is critical. 

Specific question sets can guide early investigative action that mitigates these difficulties. Question sets can be further created to support supervisory reviews and again be focused on particular offence types or reflect issues such as RUI. 

How could your force better deploy question sets as a strategic operational tool to enable stronger investigations?

Risk of Reoffending and Harm

Using ‘risk of reoffending’ tools isn’t new; the Probation Offender Group Reconviction Scale goes back 30 years. 

However, existing tools tend to be static indicators changing slowly as the data changes.   

Being able to predict escalating and desalting risk dynamically as events occur can support a number of key decisions in policing. 

  • When to charge or use Out of Court Disposals
  • Appropriateness of Bail or RUI
  • Management of high risk and high harm offenders 

It’s time to consider whether your RMS can intelligently test predictions against live data? Is its accuracy always improving, or does it remain static?

Whilst never to be used as the sole arbiter in decision-making, the approach provides an important ally in managing the risk of reoffending and harm. It’s something to consider as you build your future requirements for new technologies in your force. 

Interested in seeing how CONNECT can support your force? Get in touch and with us here and find out more.