The national research programme that seeks to improve the police investigation and response to rape and serious sexual assault (RASSO), referred to as Operation Soteria Bluestone, has received additional funding to move into a second year of research.
We are delighted that £1.3 million has been provided to the CPRL’s research team, led by Dr Emma Williams, to further support the work stream concerned with the embedding of officer learning, development and wellbeing in this area.
The aims of this strand of the research programme are threefold: first, to enhance the level of domain/practice relevant expert knowledge delivered to all officers involved in RASSO investigation and to develop an iterative learning environment where individual, group and organizational reflective practice is a central pillar to linking learning, practice, and outcomes. Second, to enhance officers’ competence and confidence (with a view to improving outcomes) when dealing with RASSO and embed meaningful discussions about officer welfare through effective reflection and trauma informed supervision processes and capable supervisors. Finally, to build an understanding of RASSO demand in targeted forces in order to develop insights and models to inform improvements in force workforce planning (both capacity and capability) within those forces and to identify generalisable learning for wider application.
I am delighted about the further funding for the year 2 Operation Soteria Bluestone research within CPRL. It is a credit to the hard work of the fantastic research team that we have been awarded this extended funding to enable us to really make a difference to the way police officers investigate RASSO and to feel more confident to do so.Dr Emma Williams
Work has now begun on the project which will welcome new research staff to add to the existing team; there will also be an additional 14 expansion forces which will bring the total number of forces participating in the research up to 19.
The five original pathfinder forces are: Avon and Somerset Police, West Midlands Police, Metropolitan Police Service, Durham Police and South Wales Police.
The 14 expansion forces are: Devon and Cornwall Police, Dorset Police, Dyfed-Powys Police, Gloucestershire Constabulary, Greater Manchester Police, Gwent Police, Hampshire Constabulary, Kent Police, Lancashire Constabulary, Northumbria Police, North Wales Police, Sussex Police, Warwickshire Police and Wiltshire Police.
The findings from year one of the research are currently being written up but a number of academic articles have been published on the programme which can be found here: Operation Soteria Bluestone