The new technology letting rape victims keep their mobile phone – The Oldham Times

GREATER Manchester is trialling new technology which could see victims of domestic abuse and sexual abuse allowed to keep their mobile phones after reporting a crime to police.
Greater Manchester Police has purchased a number of Odyssey devices, partially funded by Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
The Odyssey technology allows for specially trained police officers, supported by forensic experts, to extract evidence of crime from mobile devices within a set time period.
Currently being trialled in Salford, it will be used in incidents involving victims and witnesses of domestic abuse, rape and sexual offences who may have evidence on their mobile devices which can be recovered at the scene and in the presence of the victim.
It also allows for only data relevant to the investigation to be downloaded.
Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “In Greater Manchester we want to move as quickly as possible to using technology that places a victim’s interests at the heart of the investigation.
“It is vital that people have confidence to report a crime to the police and feel safe after doing so.
“Odyssey also means only relevant data is extracted, removing concerns that anything unnecessary will be reviewed or used in the case.
“Feedback from the Crown Prosecution Service is that Odyssey can play a significant role in helping to make charging decisions.
“Odyssey is an example of how GMP is using innovative ways to support victims, and we are keen to explore other avenues of how technology can be used to better support and protect victims in the city-region.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, head of GMPs public protection division, said:  “We know from academic research, victim feedback and support services insights that having mobile devices taken away from victims can leave them feeling disempowered, vulnerable and dramatically impacts on their ability to access their friends, family and things that are critical to them running their day to day lives.
“So we want to explore new technology to remove the need to do that where possible and this is where utilising the Odyssey Software in this Proof of Concept can assist.
“We also know from our own experience and that of other forces who have used the Odyssey technology, the ability to obtain key evidence there and then at the scene leads to quicker arrests, more charges, increased victim confidence and more convictions so we are excited to be able to use this opportunity to improve how we support and protect victims moving forward.”
A number of support services are available for victims in Greater Manchester.
Greater Manchester Victim Support can be reached on 0300 303 0162.
The local victim care team in Greater Manchester lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am-7pm and Saturday 9am-5pm.
Alternatively, contact Victim Support via live chat and find details of a range of support services at www.gmvictims.org.uk
The out-of-hours support line can be reached on 0808 1689 111.
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