Scoping project for new victim-centric crime incident screening tool

Research Institution / Organisation

University of Exeter

In Collaboration With

Devon and Cornwall Police

Principal Researcher

Dr Lewys Brace

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

February 2020

Research Context

​This project aims to develop a method of screening reported incidents of crime in a manner that better incorporates both the vulnerability of the victims and the local priorities of Devon and Cornwall Police (DCP). In doing so, it addresses two of DCP’s force priorities; vulnerability and investigation. The former is addressed through the way in which the system will primarily be concerned with incorporating the vulnerability of victims of crime into DCP’s crime screening process. The second will be addressed by the way in which the new system will not only allow for the better allocation of resources, but also from the way in which it will aim to draw attention to individuals who are susceptible to repeat offences of certain crimes; such as domestic abuse. Indeed, such a crime incident screening system that takes into account local, and tailored, priorities would be of significant use in enabling local services to tackle prevalent crimes that are perhaps more unique to the Devon and Cornwall area.

Research Methodology

This project draws upon three main sources of existing research.

The first concerns a body of work that has been conducted as part of the Evidence-based Investigation Tool (EBIT) programme. This work was conducted both during the development phase of the EBIT system in order to inform system development, and since its implementation in order to evaluate its effectiveness.

The second involves analysis of DCP crime incident data. The system that will be developed as part of this project will be heavily dependent upon the data available to act as input training data. Thus, DCP incident reporting and outcome data will be analysed, so as ensure that the system being proposed is feasible based upon the data that is available to inform it.

There is also a body of research that looks at different artificial intelligence/machine learning algorithms used by both police forces in England and Wales and in other countries, their effectiveness, any issues caused by their implementation, and the public’s perception of them. A review of this literature is being conducted as part of the scoping aspect of the project, and the findings will be used to inform system development in much the same way as the EBIT research will be.

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

July 2021
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