Burglary victims often do not receive the same follow up attention from law enforcement as victims of other more violent crimes.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A new pilot project developed by experts at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, and implemented with the Greensboro Police Department aims to support burglary victims through the use of an automated conversational assistant.
The RTI-developed chatbot, called the Enhanced Virtual Victim Assistant (EVVA), will improve the ability of law enforcement to respond to the needs of victims of burglary and refer them to community-based support and services without an additional drain on limited police resources. Fewer than 5% of burglary victims receive assistance, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
“This innovative partnership between RTI and the Greensboro Police Department will lead to a reduction in the administrative workload for detectives, while improving the efficiency of victim assistance,” said Lynn Langton, Ph.D., a research public health analyst at RTI and the principal investigator on the project. “Evidence suggests that victim satisfaction, especially in the case of burglary, improves with enhanced police communication.”
In addition to connecting victims to needed resources and support, EVVA will advise burglary victims on what to expect after a burglary occurs, steps to take to secure their residence and personal items, and will provide links to the department phone numbers and emails.
The technology builds on the success of chatbots, or conversational agents, to enhance customer service across a wide range of sectors, including retail, banking, healthcare, and government.
EVVA is now live on the Greensboro EVVA website and offers 24-hour assistance.