In a significant move aimed at bolstering the fight against rape and serious sexual offenses (RASSO), the Police Digital Service (PDS) announces the successful implementation of the Rape Review Response Project Tech Uplift 2 (RRRP2).
This initiative, backed by a substantial £4m funding from the Home Office, signifies a crucial stride in enhancing the digital forensic capabilities of police forces across England and Wales.
As part of the government’s response to the End-to-End Rape Review Report and Violence Against Women And Girls (VAWG) strategy, the Home Office has allocated funds to the PDS Digital Forensics Programme in October 2022, for a second ‘Tech Uplift’ of the Rape Review Response Project.
Following the success of the first uplift (RRRP1), RRRP2 has equipped 31 police forces with cutting-edge hardware, software, training, and validation support.
The has seen 244 pieces of advanced digital equipment delivered to digital forensic specialists and frontline officers across 31 police forces across England and Wales including:
- 161 laptops, configured to enable officers to swiftly and reliably examine mobile phones at crime scenes, victims’ locations, or within their respective forces.
- 38 kiosks, fixed-site computers designed for targeted searches.
- 45 tablets, portable devices facilitating rapid data extraction without seizing victims’ mobile devices.
Recognising the importance of having specially trained officers, the Home Office also increased the training budget, enabling the Rape Review Response Project to offer over 900 courses. These include certification and training to upskill over 700 police officers and specialist staff. Two forces, Derbyshire Constabulary and Suffolk Constabulary, have also been empowered to provide tailored, in-force training to their officers and staff.
Tony Blaker, Senior Responsible Owner at the Police Digital Service said: “This initiative, delivered by PDS with Home Office funding, enables the participating police forces to examine digital devices quicker, selectively gather only the necessary evidence to carry out the investigation, and avoid having to take phones from victims and witnesses in most cases. This leads to a more efficient evidence collection and swifter investigations.
PDS is committed to leading the way in police digital transformation efforts; improving the investigation of rape and building confidence in the Criminal Justice System – with policing, for policing.”
For further information about the Rape Review Response Project Tech Uplift 2 please email PDS Digital Forensics Programme team: DFP@pds.police.uk.
About the Police Digital Service (PDS):
The Police Digital Service (PDS) is the UK organisation responsible for coordinating, developing, delivering, and managing digital services and solutions that enable UK policing to safely harness technology to improve public safety. Funded by policing and the Home Office, PDS works with law enforcement organisations, private industry, charities, public bodies, and government to deliver digital services and solutions with policing, for policing.
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