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More forces join Operation Soteria

14 more forces will be joining the national programme for RASSO investgiations this autumn.

Operation Soteria is a nationwide project that is aimed at informing a National Operating Model for investigating rape and sexual offences. 

It began under the name Operation Bluestone in Avon and Somerset in 2021. The idea behind it was that academics would help review force policies, process and training with regards to RASSO cases. 

Project Bluestone served as the pathfinder and evidence base to apply for additional funding for what has now been developed into Operation Soteria. 

Last September, four further forces (the Met, Durham, West Midlands and South Wales) undertook the “deep dive” processes led by academic teams in collaboration with a nominated policing lead for each pillar. Between 35 and 40 academics are involved in the process.

One year on, 14 further forces will join the programme - although it will take the form of a ‘supported self-assessment’  

The self-assessment process will run between October and March 2023. Police Oracle understands that forces will be asked to build a small internal team to support the self-assessment and to complete a self-assessment tool based on key questions raised within each of the pillars.

Forces will have the opportunity to work with academics as well as access products and learnings from other forces so far via a ‘Soteria National Learning Network.’ 

Themes to be looked at include suspect-focused investigations, victim engagement and development and wellbeing for officers. 

Hampshire alongside other forces including North Wales, Gwent and Wiltshire will now also embark on the programme. 

Police Oracle spoke with Avon and Somerset previously on their reflections now that they are in the implementation stage of the programme. 

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