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GMP trials new technology to extract data from phones

The technology which means victims will not have to hand over their devices is being trialled as a proof of concept in the Salford district area.

GMP is trialling technology that allows officers to extract evidence from mobile devices within a set time period.

It will mean that victims of domestic and sexual abuse will be able to keep their phones after reporting a crime.

The force has purchased a number of Odyssey devices – partly funded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and VAWG funding– under an initiative codenamed Operation Capture.

The devices will be able to extract only the data relevant to the investigation – they have already been successfully used in Gloucestershire.

Under Operation Capture more than 50 officers are undergoing training to be able to use the devices.

Detective Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, Head of GMPs Public Protection Division, said: “We know from academic research, victim feedback and support services insights that having mobile devices taken away from victims can leave them feeling disempowered, vulnerable and dramatically impacts on their ability to access their friends, family and things that are critical to them running their day to day lives, so we want to explore new technology to remove the need to do that where possible and this is where utilising the Odyssey Software in this Proof of Concept can assist.

“We also know from our own experience and that of other forces who have used the Odyssey technology, the ability to obtain key evidence there and then at the scene leads to quicker arrests, more charges, increased victim confidence and more convictions so we are excited to be able to use this opportunity to improve how we support and protect victims moving forward. The Proof of Concept is supported and enhanced by our digital forensic experts in providing this new and innovative technology to our front-line police officers.”

Yesterday, NPCC VAWG Co-ordinator DCC Maggie Blyth gave an update on some of the work done under the VAWG strategy so far. She highlighted an initiative in Kent which uses rapid victim response to allow officers to virtually respond to calls where appropriate and have instant contact with a victim.

West Yorkshire’s victim-centred approach was also mentioned, as was the Met’s Walk and Talk scheme.

A more thorough assessment of the collective action under the framework is due to be published in late November.

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