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Stalker jailed after Met uses analytical software for VAWG case

The force previously told Police Oracle that the software is commonly used for county lines but they believed it was a first for VAWG.

A stalker has been jailed following a Met investigation which trialed the use of analytical software to manage communications and travel data.

Anhar Hussain received a custodial sentence of three years and nine months after he previously pleaded guilty to offences of arson, harassment, fear of violence and dangerous driving.

Detectives from the East Area Basic Command Unit had used analytical software to map out phone signals. In conjunction with other comms and travel data – this allowed officers to map out and detect Hussain’s stalking patterns.

The software “cleanses and presents” data and can analyse it within seconds of it being inputted. Previously, multiple data sets would take weeks of analysis. 

The force told Police Oracle that it creates tables and maps that can show core times of harassment/stalking - co-locations that demonstrate where devices belonging to the victim and offender were within an area of each other. It can then be overlaid on local CCTV. 

It is currently being trialled in the East BCU Public Protection Team with testing and evaluation results due in Spring 2023. 

The force also previously told Police Oracle that they were looking to explore its use – specifically across other vulnerability cases such as missing people and CSE.

In this case, the victim-survivor, a woman in her 20s, began a relationship with Hussain in 2020. Their relationship began to deteriorate from March 2021.

During arguments, he would shout and scream into her face, punch walls near to her, throw household objects, including a laptop in her direction, pull and push her about the house and throw her onto the sofa. 

When she moved to another address, Hussain began to harass the victim by constantly calling her, many times in a single minute. He called her more than 700 times a day.

He also proceeded to manipulate her in an attempt to get her to return. He would send her photos of him crying, cleaning the house and doing the laundry to try to entice her back. When this failed he began to stalk the victim.

After the victim reached out to the police, officers from the East Area Public Protection Predatory Offender Unit used the software to evidence 157 occasions when the suspect co-located within close proximity of the victim during his stalking.

It further allowed the officers to create an illustrative story board of tables and maps which formed part of an evidential package - both for the CPS and any future jury. 

Head of Public Protection for the East Area Command Unit, Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, said: “Hussain was bailed twice, and still he showed no regard for our justice system and continued to harass, threaten and cause distress to the victim in every possible way.

"The introduction of this software will undoubtedly speed up charging decisions for cases such as stalking and harassment. This software allows my officers to cleanse, manage big data from electronic devices and self-analyse it within seconds of inputting the information."

Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Thompson, Deputy Lead for Stalking and Harassment, said, “Operation Atlas represents a step change in the Met’s response to stalking, exploring how we can respond more efficiently and avoid unnecessary delays in investigation.”

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