BAE Systems Digital Intelligence with His Majesty’s Government


Change and Transformation in the Public Sector

MCA Awards Finalist 2024In England, 55,874 sexual offences against children were recorded in 2019/20. However, a significant number of offences are never recorded, with the NSPCC estimating that 1/20 children have been sexually abused. Our client’s task is to reduce the harm to children caused by this crime by pursuing offenders, protecting victims, preventing people from becoming new victims or offenders, and preparing people to mitigate the impact of sexual abuse. The client problem is one of scale: how to best use its very limited analyst resources and unique capabilities to make the biggest possible impact.

Improving the client’s data access:
The client needed to be able to work with its partners to ingest ad-hoc, often time-sensitive data across systems. So, the BAE Systems Digital Intelligence team created a repeatable and re-usable system that offers a simple and secure interface for partners to upload data, which can be easily deployed for new partners in under 24 hours. Within minutes of being uploaded, the data is automatically verified, cleansed and loaded into the end system for analysts to access – all without anyone being unnecessarily exposed to Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). Six instances have now been deployed across different teams, replacing manual processes that would otherwise take weeks each month and providing a routine solution for what was a complex and distressing problem.
Importantly, it is helping the client to engage with more partners and open up opportunities that were previously blocked.

Having an impact on the problem of online Child Sexual Abuse Material at a huge scale:
By combining open source data, our team’s data science expertise, engagement and collaboration with domain experts, and international partnerships, we have created a system that can automatically uncover CSAM online. The system identifies and checks tens of thousands of indicative websites for CSAM every day, with such material being reported for takedown without requiring to be viewed by client analysts. This has enabled us to have a real world impact on the issue of CSAM websites at a huge scale, helping curtail the repeat victimisation survivors experience every time images and videos of their abuse are shared or traded online.
The lessons learned from this work are also being fed into other national and international programs to further their impact on this problem.

Looking after the mental welfare of staff:
Analysts working for this client are regularly exposed to distressing or offensive material. In partnership with client experts and professional psychologists, we developed the Exposure Logging Tool to automatically record, alert and offer guidance to analysts who are exposed – while also providing oversight for management to help them understand their team’s levels of exposure.
This is now a key part of the on-boarding process for new analysts and is being used by two other departments within HMG to help their analysts feel comfortable and supported working in this area, further improving the impact the client can have.

View the BAE Systems Digital Intelligence profile in the MCA Members Directory.