The team has been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Training’ and the ‘Public Private Partnership’ categories for its work with the Metropolitan Police and the London Tri-borough partners respectively.
Last year, Antser conducted a pilot scheme with the Met’s East Area Basic Command Unit (EA BCU) to use Antser VR as an immersive storytelling tool to train officers and raise their awareness of DA.
DA is an ongoing issue across the London area with the official Met Police crime data dashboard revealing that 87,567 instances of DA were recorded between January and November 2021. This amounts to roughly 240 offences being reported each day.
To respond to the overwhelming issues associated with DA, the partnership aimed to shift the mindsets of those who deal with such incidents daily, allowing officers to see incidents through the eyes of the child. During the training, which was conducted virtually to a total of 48 police officers, organisers wanted to gauge their understanding of DA and the expectations of them as first responders, while establishing the challenges they face and how these are currently approached.
Elsewhere, in October 2021, in a bid to reduce child exploitation in the area, three London boroughs – Redbridge Council, Waltham Forest Council and Enfield Council – partnered with Antser for 12 months to use VR with young people identified as at significant risk of Extra-Familial Harm (EFH) and for parents, carers and the professionals working with them.
The partnership marks the first time Antser VR has been used directly to protect vulnerable young people and increase parents, carers, and practitioners’ understanding, empathy, and behaviour towards topics surrounding child criminal exploitation (CCE).
Richard Dooner, Chief Executive Officer at Antser, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have once again been shortlisted in the LaingBuisson Awards, having been recognised this year for our work with the Met Police’s EA BCU and the London tri-borough project.
“Our innovative VR programme aims to increase empathy and establish a deeper understanding of incidents, such as domestic abuse, by giving those on the frontline an insight into the impact it has on its victims and immersing them into the footsteps of vulnerable individuals.
“Our work with the London tri-borough also demonstrates how VR is an effective and efficient way to educate young people and the individuals supporting them, offering ‘perspective-taking’ and simulating real-life experiences with a highly engaging piece of technology.”
This year marks the second time Antser has been shortlisted in the LaingBuisson Awards, having been recognised last year (2021) in the Public Private Partnership category for its work with the London Borough of Redbridge. In this case, Antser VR was used directly with perpetrators of DA to help disrupt their behaviour and encourage survivors to remove themselves from abusive situations.
With over 30 years’ experience, Antser provides better outcomes for children, adults, families, and communities by delivering training and practice within child protection and safeguarding, across children’s and adults’ sectors in the UK.
The LaingBuisson Awards 2022 will take place on Thursday, 17th November at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London.