With Rochdale’s child safeguarding case making headlines this week, and a 2022 review from the Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme (VKPP) highlighting an increase in Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE) across England and Wales, it’s clear there’s a critical need for an innovative, long-term solution.
Trilateral Research is leading the way in developing this solution, working with the police to support their ongoing efforts in tackling the problems currently being faced. At this week’s conference, representatives from Trilateral and Lincolnshire Police, where CESIUM was launched in November 2023, presented their sociotech, co-design approach that has led to the evolution of CESIUM in supporting child safeguarding efforts.
Presenting to over 100 delegates representing 31 forces, Nicola Haywood-Cleverly, Chief Digital and Information Officer, Liz Rogers, Detective Chief Superintendent and Head of Crime for Lincolnshire Police, and Gavin Day, Trilateral’s CESIUM lead, gave a detailed account of the development of CESIUM. This spanned from its initial inception in 2018 to its launch across Lincolnshire Police Force last year.
In particular, they highlighted key findings from initial validation exercises which saw 16 vulnerable children be identified up to six months before the existing process, and proactively identified three vulnerable children for pre-screening risk assessment who had previously been concealed in the data.
Liz Rogers, Detective Chief Superintendent and Head of Crime, Lincolnshire Police, said:
We’re really excited about what this can bring to us. The benefits we foresee include early identification of the most vulnerable, access to real time and the daily reports in the safeguarding hubs to review information. The operational capacity is massive, replacing the manual trawl that we as humans have to do.
Nicola Haywood-Cleverly, Chief Digital and Information Officer, Lincolnshire Police, said:
We’ve been able to strongly demonstrate that this allows us to proactively focus on the most vulnerable in society.
In recent months, CESIUM has garnered attention from further afield, with a briefing to the Minister of State, as well as a briefing to the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the CSE Taskforce under the Hydrant Programme, on 11 January 2024. This explored how CESIUM can assist in the investigation and prevention of Group Based Child Sexual Exploitation (GBCSE).
Dr Hayley Watson, Director, Sociotech Innovation, Trilateral Research, said:
Every day our understanding of the significant problems in the space of child sexual exploitation and child exploitation grows. We are helping in supporting the police in their 4P approach to pursue, prepare, protect, and prevent organised crime. Our ethical AI allows the police to do what they do best; spend less time on data administration and more time on proactively responding to the threats posed to children, by arming them with the tools to help them identify vulnerable children and intervene early.