|Identifying children at risk has been a struggle for law enforcement authorities and social workers / Photo Credit: Sharomka (via Shutterstock)|
Nicholas Fearn of business news Forbes said there are 61,500 children listed on the child protection register in the U.K. According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, it is estimated that one in 10 youths will suffer from some form of abuse or neglect. Identifying children at risk has been challenging for social workers and law enforcement officials in the past, as it involves a lot of paperwork and research. Thanks to innovations in technology, this could change. BAE Systems has created a data analytics software to help identify and protect vulnerable children much faster than traditional approaches.
Deployed in collaboration with Gloucestershire Constabulary Police Force, the platform “analyzed three years’ of historic datasets” from various agencies and identified children at risk in as little as four hours. BAE Systems developed an algorithm that is capable of analyzing large volumes of data and determining which children are at risk of abuse.
According to BAE Systems, the platform can prompt child protection agencies “to urgently scale up care plans” to stop abuse before it occurs, giving them more time to help children in need. Ravi Gogna, principal consultant at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence explained there is data such as police records and child protection records available to child protection agencies. When pieced together, the data can help provide agencies valuable insight, enabling them to proactively determine and safeguard children at risk.
“Reviewing and analyzing this dispersed information is lengthy, complex and manual – and at a time of increasing demand and squeezed budgets, things can be missed,” Gogna added. BAE Systems and Gloucestershire Constabulary wanted to find out if analytics technologies could be applied to the above-mentioned data sets, optimizing the data analysis process and opening the prospect of preventing harm before it takes place.
While the trial focused on child protection, the technology surprisingly uncovered gang-like behavior, demonstrating that it could transcend to other areas of risks such as gangs, knife crime, domestic abuse, and county lines. Given that, BAE Systems plans to launch its platform to other parts of the UK. Gogna explained, “We are exploring the next steps with our partners, with an ambition to roll this out to police forces nationwide.”