Police to use technology to help safeguard against Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation | NTT DATA

Wed, 29 June 2022

Police to use technology to help safeguard against Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation

NTT DATA’s ‘Intelligent Safeguarding’ technology ensures court-issued protection orders reach the police after research finds almost a third of issued orders fall through the cracks

NTT DATA UK&I, a world leader in digital, data and technology services and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) announced the launch of a new Intelligent Safeguarding Solution that immediately delivers court issued forced marriage (FM)and female genital mutilation (FGM) protection orders (POs) to local police forces to protect potential victims.

Previously, representatives of the victims were responsible for ensuring that court protection orders arrived at the correct local police force. As a result, many protection orders did not get acted on as the police never received them.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Honour Based Abuse, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation, Commander Ivan Balhatchet explained: “Prevention is far better than cure when it comes to these human rights abuses, but without a protection order, local police forces are powerless to act.” 

Automation bridges the gap between the courts and the police and gives police the information they need to act

Intelligent Safeguarding is a solution developed by NTT DATA in partnership with the NPCC, Ministry of Justice, Police Digital Service (pds.police.uk) and Microsoft that uses intelligent automation to ensure that 100 percent of POs reach the police. Furthermore, the POs reach local police instantly rather than in days, meaning that victims can be safeguarded before the potential perpetrators become aware of the protection order.

A secondary benefit is that police are now collecting anonymised data from the POs that pinpoints trends and high-risk areas. Using this information, police can be more strategic in deploying officers and resources, and work with local charities and communities to educate young people on the role of POs to prevent more of these crimes before they happen.

Commander Balhatchet continued: “Our priority is to safeguard vulnerable victims from this appalling form of abuse. Protection orders are key to ensuring that individuals are protected by the police and other statutory agencies, preventing not only the crimes themselves but also the process victims would have to go through in a criminal trial, which can be traumatic for them. This programme will help us tackle this terrible crime at both a national and local level; and give the victims the confidence to come forward knowing that the process works and is there to support them.”

Chris Jones, Head of Government at NTT DATA UK&I, added: “We are proud of our involvement in this critical safeguarding reform. This technology will enable victims to be better protected, help the Justice system to tackle these crimes and most importantly save lives. This successful collaboration, and the resulting safeguarding solution, paves the way for other organisations to come together to improve public sector services and build a better future for society.”

Simon Bown, Business Applications Industry Lead - Central Government & Public Safety National Security commented “Microsoft is a passionate believer in using technology for good. ‘The goal was to deploy technology that better protects and supports victims, enabling a national approach to safeguarding. We are proud of what we have achieved.”

With an eye to the future, the police plan to roll out the Intelligent Safeguarding Solution to other areas of protection, such as domestic abuse and restraining orders, to better safeguard more of our society’s most vulnerable citizens.

Read more on the Intelligent Safeguarding project here

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