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North Lincs pilots victimisation index

System will pinpoint those most likely to be targets of antisocial attacks

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An electronic system to help people who are vulnerable to antisocial behaviour is being trialled in North Lincolnshire.

The Victims and Vulnerable Persons Index (VVPI) was launched on 26 October as an early warning system about people at risk of systematic attack or abuse by neighbourhood gangs.

The VVPI has been developed in response to the Pilkington case, in which a mother and daughter took their own lives after being targeted for years by antisocial behaviour, and against the background of public concern about the problem.

The software, supplied by Xantura, uses a data-sharing platform to collate information held by separate local agencies to create the index. For individuals at highest risk, and depending on the levels of crime and antisocial behaviour in their area, likely victims will be flagged up to local safety teams that are responsible preventing further victimisation.

Stephen Foston, senior safer neighbourhood officer at North Lincolnshire Safer Neighbourhoods, a partnership involving the local council, police and fire services and the NHS, told GC News that the pilot will run until March 2011 and the results will be published in August.

It is being funded by the Local Government Improvement and Development Agency's Insight Programme, but an application for further funding has been made to the Department of Health.

"We were looking at how to identify people who were vulnerable to victimisation," said Foston. "What we are doing is collating information from a multitude of agencies, but doing this in a controlled and legal fashion."

"From there, we carry out further risk assessment on the individual, and if they are then found to be at risk of becoming victims of antisocial behaviour, we provide them with a personal support plan."

Feston said that the potential to integrate the VVPI with other systems was being considered. "South Yorkshire, for example, have set up a 'good neighbour' system and we are looking to link that to get community-based support for individuals."

Xantura has estimated that the VVPI could save local agencies £800,000 a year in reduced accident and emergency admissions and police and criminal justice costs.

It said that if the same savings were repeated across England and Wales, the government could reduce costs in these areas by an estimated £300m a year.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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