Dr Ruth Horry
“CHERISH opened the door to an organisation that is very hard to enter.”
Dr Ruth Horry, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Swansea University, used CHERISH-DE funding and a secondment to progress her project, ‘Enhancing witness account capture through digital technology’. Ruth’s aim was to put human experience at the centre of developing digital processes with the police force.
The CHERISH-DE project team used their links within this police force to enable Ruth to second to South Wales Police to work on digital enhancements for road traffic accident witness statements. Ruth ‘rode along’ with police to see what existing systems were in place and the real problems they face, to anticipate the needs of users more fully.
After the secondment, Ruth successfully applied for CHERISH-DE Escalator funding for a large project in which digital technology is used to enhance the quality and quantity of information from eyewitnesses at the scene of a crime or incident.
The result was a digital Self Administered Interview form, a major rethinking of the way information was gathered after a road accident, allowing the witness to complete a form themselves, providing as much detail as possible, rather than a short report to an officer or a follow up interview.
“CHERISH really helped me foster a positive working relationship with South Wales Police”, says Ruth. “It has bridge the divide between academia and operational practice. They are very open to improving procedures using digital innovation, which is cost-free and does not add on time to their workload. In return I can use real world situations to answer the research questions I am working on.”
The project has secured a Road Safety Grant of £77,000, which will cover the further costs for a Research Assistant to analyse the data coming out of this trial.
Ruth's research in the news
Safe roads research could lead to better witness evidence from road traffic collisions