October 22, 2020

On October 22nd, 2020, CONNEXIONs performed the first pilot test for PUC2 “Human trafficking investigations and mitigation” at the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) premises. Specially trained officers from the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit participated in a virtual demonstration of the CONNEXIONs platform and associated technologies. Investigating human trafficking can be difficult for several reasons, but primarily because individuals will be coerced into not reporting a crime due to threats to family members, language barriers or economic instability.

One of the proactive policing methods of investigation for these types of crimes includes regular review of job and other web-based listings for potential signs that the individual may be at risk. This is exceptionally resource demanding and time-consuming.

Employing the technology provided by the CONNEXIONS solutions, the platform was able to analyse large amounts of data and identify risk factors associated with human trafficking. The language analysis and understanding toolset identified the risk factors, while the semantic reasoning component provided a numerical assessment for fast identification of possible victims. Within the main interface, an automatic alert was sent to the investigating officer.

One added feature allowed officers to search the dataset at any given time throughout the analysis period and not wait until the process was completed. This was very useful as some investigations may be time-specific, such as a risk to life. The officers testing the system found it very user friendly and believed it would be a useful asset in their fight against crime.

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