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Advancements in the HARM Tool: A Comprehensive Overview of our Journey


The closing presentation of day one at our conference featured Ali shedding light on the evolution of the HARM tool, a longstanding asset within the Process Evolution Suite. Since its inception in 2017, developed in collaboration with Hertfordshire Constabulary, the HARM tool has undergone a transformative journey from a basic analytical model to a robust instrument aiding emergency service in assessing the impact of harm, risk, and vulnerability within their geographical remits.

From its humble beginnings, the HARM model has expanded significantly, introducing a diverse range of measures of ‘harm’; including geographical structures, risk families with associated metrics and weightings. This evolution enables a more nuanced analysis, measuring these factors at relevant geographical levels. Notably, there has been a heightened focus on vulnerability and inclusion of supplementary data sources. These additions, coupled with the original demand inputs, have underscored the necessity for a deeper understanding of the inputs and their respective weightings.

In response to these growing demands, the HARM tool has incorporated functionalities beyond summary statistics. The inclusion of scenario creation capabilities empowers users and consultants to explore those ‘what-if’ scenarios frequently encountered in emergency services. The tool has been enhanced to incorporate the utilisation of databases, allowing for filtering by geography and facilitating interrogative analysis to identify potential issues like double counting or recency bias affecting model outputs.

The success of the HARM tool’s development is evident in its adoption by multiple services across various disciplines and functions both within policing and in the fire sector. It has found applications in Response, Investigations, Personal Protection Units, each tailoring its unique interpretation of what is critical to their mission and how resources should be allocated accordingly.

Recognising the perpetual challenges that come with any tool, our merger with ORH positions us to apply new technology to improve the Harm tool. A sneak peak of the online Risk tool was also provided.

The evolution of the HARM tool stands as a testament to its adaptability and the commitment of its developers to meet the evolving needs of emergency services. Going forward with the developments made with the online Risk tool, it reaffirms our dedication to providing top-tier tools to understand harm and risk within the dynamic landscape of public services.

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