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Project Soteria – Bluestone

This pillar of the wider ‘5 pillar research programme’ aims to explore the learning and development and wellbeing aspects for officers working within RASSO.

The project is funded by the Home Office as part of a wider criminal justice review programme called Project Soteria. Bluestone is the operational policing arm of that wider project. The Open University's Centre for Policing Research and Learning is leading the project.

Academic partners

  • Pillar 1 – Repeat offenders – The University of Bournemouth
  • Pillar 2 – Suspect focused investigations – The University of Suffolk
  • Pillar 3 – Victim care – Durham University 
  • Pillar 4 – Learning / development and wellbeing - The Open University (Lead - Dr Emma Williams) 
  • Pillar 5 – Data and analytical – London Metropolitan

The overall aim of the project, as a whole, is to improve the investigations of rape and sexual assault and reduce the level of attrition as is currently seen in these crimes reported to the police. The research has been divided into different sections given the time scale of the work and allocated to different members of the research team:

Phase 1 – data / document collection

  1. Review local documentation on police well-being and complete interviews with key staff involved in this area locally (interviews will be conducted over the telephone of secure video conferencing options).
  2. Conduct focus groups and interviews with investigating officers, L and D reps, RASSO leads and wellbeing leads
  3. Review local learning and development materials for specialist rape investigators to consider content and applicability to local rape profiles
  4. Collect local (anonymised) data on well being referrals from officers working in this area and the numbers of officers trained in the space

Phase 2 – analysis

  1. The qualitative data will be transcribed and then coded and analysed through NVIVO – this data will be considered with the entire team in the context of other findings and review of documentation and descriptive data

Phase 3 – outputs

  1. Academic publication
  2. Slide pack for the force on findings outlining the current gaps in learning and development and ideas for improvement based on the review of other evidence
  3. Feedback on the link to learning and well-being and the integration of officer experience in the cycle of learning
  4. Various practical outputs related to supervisory guidance, reflective practice, wellbeing, and learning 

The plan is that this work will inform a wider national programme on rape attrition improvement being developed by the Home Office. The force where this research is being conducted is a pathfinder due to the DCC being the NPCC lead for rape and sexual assault.