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  4. 3.26 Operation Soteria Bluestone

3.26 Operation Soteria Bluestone

Academic team: Dr Emma Williams, Richard Harding, Dr Nicky Miller, Dr Arun Sondhi, Dr Linda Maguire, Jennifer Norman, Rachel Ward
Policing partners: Avon and Somerset Police, West Midlands Police, Metropolitan Police Service, Durham Police and South Wales Police
Status: Complete

Cambs police officers

Operation Soteria Bluestone forms the policing, operational arm of a wider project reviewing rape across the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The research will mirror the methodology of Project Bluestone with four new forces on board - the Metropolitan Police Service, Durham Police, West Midlands Police and South Wales Police. 

The project brings together leading academics from across the UK to work alongside police officers and seeks to improve the investigation and response to rape and serious sexual assault. The research is split into six workstreams all looking at different aspects of the investigative process:

  • suspect focused investigations
  • challenging and disrupting repeat offenders
  • victim engagement
  • learning and development and wellbeing
  • review of data
  • performance and digital forensics

The CPRL research team, headed by the Lead Investigator Dr Emma Williams, are working on the learning and development and wellbeing workstream and will seek to explore the relationship between the training delivered in the four forces for those involved in RASSO investigations, their developmental requirements and how these are identified, learning experiences and officer wellbeing. 


Title Outputs type Lead academic Year
Operation Soteria Year One Report Final report Stanko, B 2022
Critical reflection: The importance of case reviews and reflective practice in rape and serious sexual offences investigations Article Norman, J 2022
Linking professionalism, learning and wellbeing in the context of rape investigation: Early findings from project Bluestone  Article Williams, E 2022
Stress-related psychosocial risk factors among police officers working on rape and serious sexual offences Article Maguire, L 2022
Pillar 4: Embedding learning and development and officer wellbeing in rape and serious sexual offence investigations - June 2022 Presentation Williams, E 2022
Operation Soteria Bluestone: Reflections on a deep dive into RASSO investigators' wellbeing Presentation Ward, R and Maguire, L 2022
Pillar 4: Embedding learning and development and officer wellbeing in rape and serious sexual offence investigations - March 2022 Presentation Williams, E 2022
Organisationally induced trauma among rape and other serious sexual offence investigators; early insghts from Soteria-Bluestone Article Harding, R 2022



Can a virtual reality courtroom be a useful learning tool?

Dr Ahmed Kadry and Simon Hull, who both work in the Department for Policing at The Open University (OU), have recently finished a project that evaluated OU policing apprentice's experiences of learning in a virtual reality (VR) courtroom.

4th December 2023
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Upcoming Events

Dec 7

Membership Group Meeting

Thursday, December 7, 2023 - 10:30 to 12:30

Jan 15

Research Priority workshop

Monday, January 15, 2024 - 11:00 to 13:00

The Open University, Milton Keynes

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