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Revolutionary virtual reality tech for reducing gang crime enables social workers to step into children’s shoes

Latest virtual reality (VR) technology innovation to be utilised by social workers to acutely observe abuse through the eyes of children, to reduce gang and knife crime

Over thirty local authority bodies are utilising the game-changing VR-based technology by equipping teachers, district judges and social workers with it. The authority figures using the system will gain a thorough understanding of what children go through and can come up with better childcare processes. The under-development technology for helping children in need is gaining prominence in the light of various recent stabbing incidents.

Cornerstone, a company dealing with state-of-the-art technology innovation, is working closely with boroughs in London to achieve the objectives of preventing the gang exploitation of children and helping radicalised Muslim teenagers.

Social workers wear headsets to experience abuse and neglect from a child’s perspective

The programme is being considered as the first of its kind on a global level. It will involve social workers putting on advanced technology headsets for witnessing realistic neglect and abuse scenarios from the perspective of children. This latest development is being labelled as revolutionary by the head of the childcare body Children and Family Court Advisory Service (CAFCASS).

According to Anthony Douglas, parents, adoptive carers and foster carers can accurately dissect the impact of factors like abuse and neglect from children’s perspectives much faster. The technology also facilitates a deeper understanding of the use of immersive virtual reality, making it more effective than traditional learning programmes. He believes that virtual reality can generate positive impacts on British society in terms of addressing social issues with conviction.

Cornerstone has pioneered the cutting-edge technology

Helen Costa, CEO, Cornerstone, remarked that talks between the company and the most Councils severely affected by gang crimes were ongoing. According to her, Councils like Lambeth are eager to stand by the company’s ongoing innovative technical advances, in terms of social care for children aimed at reducing knifings and juvenile crime.  She considers it as a challenge for Cornerstone.

She elaborated, stating that young people are more likely to interact with virtual reality (VR) experiences with greater enthusiasm, as compared to sitting down with law enforcement professionals for a discussion. According to Costa, children initially tend to fall victim to scenarios involving gang culture and sexual abuse unwittingly. She believes that the power of virtual reality can be utilised for raising awareness among children and transforming their perspectives. Children can be influenced by technology training to make better life choices. As a leader in the VR behavioural transformation space, Cornerstone is gearing up to put all efforts into the project.

The programme currently has twelve episodes throwing light on the negative effects of neglect and abuse on children, encompassing the time frame when they are in the womb, to their journey into the late teenage years.

All childcare professionals who have tried out the programme since its initial stages during early 2017 expressed that they were willing to recommend it. Teachers, social workers, and district judges are also keen on implementing the technology practically.

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