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PCC Vera Baird secures Police Innovation Funding

23rd March 2016

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has received Home Office confirmation that she has secured £171,510 to implement polygraph and eye detection testing for pre and post-conviction sexual offenders.

The funding has been secured through a collaborative bid between Northumbria Police and Durham Constabulary to the Police Innovation Fund 2016/17.  Northumbria Police will lead the project which will see technology used as a means of assisting in the management of sexual offenders.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “Northumbria Police has been working incredibly hard with proactive investigations and encouraging victims, including those of historic offences, to come forward. I am therefore delighted to have secured funding which will allow us to use this advanced technology to help protect some of the most vulnerable in our communities.

“As demand increases there is a clear need to ensure robust risk management of alleged sexual offenders is in place and this new testing process will help us do just that.

“Introducing eye detection testing will be a first for the UK and we look forward to rolling out detail of this pioneering way of managing offenders in the very near future – one of many innovative ways in which we are seeking to provide better protection for the people of Northumbria.”

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Coleman, from Northumbria Police, said: “This is great news for Northumbria and we are thankful to Commissioner Baird for supporting us in securing  this funding so we can make a real difference in protecting the public we serve. It will help officers ensure more accurate risk management of suspected and convicted sex offenders which will help inform our safeguarding. It is expected this will lead to the prevention of offences as well as efficiency savings.”

Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg, said “This is another example of how modern technology can really help to identify offenders and resolve crimes. I strongly encourage victims of sexual offences to report what has happened to the Police, and I can assure them that they will be taken seriously”.