Published: 18 April 2016

Surrey researchers received award at Home Office International Crime and Policing Conference 2016

At the 2nd Home Office International Crime and Policing Conference, Surrey researchers Dr Anna Vartapetiance and Dr Lee Gillam were awarded the best poster prize for “the most potential to inform thinking about how to prevent crime”.

The prize was awarded based on votes by the participants and the organisers of the Conference. Anna received the award from Professor Bernard Silverman, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Home Office.  The conference was held from 22nd to 23rd March 2016

The prize was awarded in respect to research and development on the prevention and detection of online grooming of various kinds, where victims are lured into ongoing abusive relationships of a sexual, emotional, or financial nature. The present focus of the work is on detection of child sexual predators and prevention of online grooming and child abuse. The importance of tackling this issue was identified at the conference in speeches of three government ministers (Minister for Internet Safety and Security Baroness Joanna ShieldsHome Secretary Theresa May and Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime Karen Bradley).

In addition to Anna and Lee's work on online grooming detection, the Department's Dr Haiyue Yuan also presented a poster on the research work in the Innovate UK funded project POLARBEAR which is about forensic vehicle convoy analysis of ANPR (automated number plate recognition) data. This project is a joint effort withThales UK Ltd and Surrey Police.

The 2nd Home Office International Crime and Policing Conference, on the theme of ‘modern crime prevention’, brought together 120 leading experts to share a wide range of perspectives on crime. The event sought to highlight new research, generate ideas, showcase innovation and consider how the government, police and citizens should respond to current and future crime challenges.

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