Historically virtual reality (VR) has been known to be popular in the gaming industry, but for one organisation, Antser, an innovative technology solutions provider in the health, social care and education sector, has been making waves in the technology industry by consistently using digital innovation in training, upskilling practitioners and now, frontline officers to help deliver better outcomes for vulnerable people in society.
This past year has seen Antser partner with the Met Police to enable police officers to use their innovative virtual reality technology to help frontline officers better understand the impact of domestic abuse on children, young people and survivors.
With the number of police recorded domestic abuse-related crimes in England and Wales rising by 6% in the year ending March 2021 to 845,734, using Antser VR as a tool to help bring to life the perspectives of children and victims through immersive storytelling, the aim was to enhance officers’ understanding of domestic abuse and the expectations on them as first responders, while establishing the challenges they face and how they currently overcome them.
Officers were shown two immersive VR experiences – the first from the point of view of a baby in utero; the second highlighted manipulation of police officers by a perpetrator, minimising the impact of the abuse and its impact on the child – in a bid to encourage officers to think differently about their behaviour, responses and decisions when responding to domestic abuse incidents.
Following the training, 79% of attendees agreed the VR training was more engaging than other types of training on domestic abuse while nearly half (47%) said it had made them more aware of the impact on children and unborn babies and so to change their approach accordingly. In addition, around a third (31%) said they would now try to better understand other perspectives of abuse and be more aware of their attitude and behaviour towards victims, as well as spending more time with them following a call out to an incident.
This February, Antser will be hosting a free webinar, ‘Using Virtual Reality to Improve Practice in Frontline Policing’, on 7 February 2021.
During the webinar, Mandy Miranda, VR Lead Trainer and Facilitator at Antser will be joined by John Carroll, Detective Superintendent & Head of Public Protection at the East Area Basic Command Unit in the Met Police and Gita Hargun, Service Manager, Families Together Hub at London Borough of Redbridge to discuss two pilots using Virtual Reality (VR) to turn around perpetrators, survivors, children and young people’s lives in incidents involving domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation.
John Carroll said:
“As the power of technology continues to grow, we have been fortunate to have been able to experience first hand how VR can directly help frontline officers to better understand the impact of domestic abuse and to create a safer place for children, young people and survivors.
This webinar demonstrates the value of virtual reality as both a learning, development and an intervention tool to improve practice in frontline policing. Attendees will have the opportunity to gain insight into how VR has been used to aid officers’ understanding the importance of taking decisive action at the first incident to reduce the risk of repeat occurrences, making a tangible difference to victim, child and perpetrator.
I would encourage new officers joining the force or frontline teams who have been in the service for the past decade to come along to Antser’s webinar to better understand and see domestic abuse incidents through the eyes of the child.”
For more information or to register your attendance, visit our Event Page or book direct for free on the form above.