Looking back at Clue User Conference 2022

Nov 16, 2022
The message 'progress requires collaboration' struck a note throughout the day at London’s Congress Centre. 

“Let’s make a bold statement and say that our mission is to protect society from harm,” said Clare Elford, Clue Software CEO at the Clue User Conference 2022. 

“The most important thing about our mission is that it’s actually about us supporting your work, making you successful, you are the ones on the front line, making a safer society.” 

Received by some 100 of Clue customers and a similar tally online, the opening message – progress requires collaboration – struck the note that resonated through a series of case studies, keynotes, panels, and breakout sessions at London’s Congress Centre. 

Clue continues to be guided by customer needs, Clare reminded attendees; in a world of evolving and borderless threats where prevention is becoming a greater benchmark of success than prosecution, that means providing software that enables pace and productivity, and clear insights from volumes of complex data.  

Fostering this approach, however, requires connecting customers as an investigations community to share challenges and ideas. “When we think about the evolving nature of investigations, it will take all of us to imagine what is possible and take action,” said Clare.  

Measuring success

In the corporate world, demonstrating ROI and success is everything. The same is true for corporate investigations teams.

Later in the day, we heard from a customer who uses Clue to manage investigations into corporate risks, from vandalism to person-related threats. But success here isn’t always about closed cases, but identifying and responding to incidents, trends and patterns that positively impact investigative procedure, and therefore, the organisation’s entire workforce.

Providing a commercial outlook on investigations, everybody in the room could relate to the core lesson in driving internal awareness through better reporting, with customised dashboards in Clue enabling those outside investigations teams to easily “look at the data.”

“This has become very useful for us in getting people more engaged in what we’re doing as a team … how we’re utilising the data to then make future decisions … and just, overall, to decrease the number of questions that my team then has to spend time working on … ”

The three Ps

Former UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, presented our second keynote of the day.

Dame Sara explored the need for enhanced protection of victims, prosecution of offenders and preventative systems to combat the staggering scale of modern slavery in the UK and worldwide.  

Comprising criminal exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour and sexual exploitation, 49.6 million people are estimated to be living in modern slavery. Forced labour accounts for 27.6 million, while at 22 million, 1 in every 150 people are subject to forced marriage. 

Driven by factors including the pandemic and climate change, modern slavery is a growing problem. While protection and prosecution play a part in combating the scale of this crime, significant barriers remain, including the vulnerability of witnesses and victims, lack of law enforcement expertise in handling complex offending, and underutilisation of financial investigations.  

Far from simple, the most effective strategy lies in responding to trends and reports, and early intervention to prevent escalation and break the cycle of known causes and risks faced by victims.  

Once again, the session proved a rallying cry for the need to combine forces and share responsibility. 

“Modern slavery is not just a criminal justice issue but one that affects the whole of society,” said Dame Sara. “Because of its cross-border nature, it has got to be the entire system working well together. It absolutely requires a joined-up response.” 

Prevention panel

Discussions with Clue customers about their priorities have historically focused on efforts to tackle wrongdoing and secure justice.  

More recently, customers across different sectors, tackling threats including financial crime, corruption, and safeguarding are targeting early intervention and preventative strategies to reduce the impact of crime and protect against harm.  

To round off an insightful day, a cross-sector panel invited perspectives from Dame Sara Thornton CBE; Detective Superintendent Stan Gilmour; Affy Sheikh, Starlizard Integrity Services; Matt Horne, Deputy Director Investigations at the NCA (National Crime Agency); and Clue’s Clare Elford.  

10/11/22 - Clue Conference - Congress Centre, London, UK

Former Chief Constable and chair Nick Gargan again drew data sharing out as a key theme, in particular, its shift as a vital tool in detection to the heart of prevention strategies. 

Describing the power of multi-agency data, Det Supt Gilmour said having the right systems in place enabled investigations teams to access and interrogate shared data.

“You have to draw information from as wide a source as you can … find a way of cleansing and linking data, and automate that process … so that you can gain strategic and operational insight,” said Det Supt Gilmour.

“You can then drive and derive insight from your data, rather than just information … what we’re trying to do is raise interesting questions … you start to build out from that initial observation many much more difficult, sometimes imponderable questions that ripple through partnerships.”

Thank you to everybody who attended the Clue User Conference 2022. Don’t forget to view the winners of the Clue Awards 2022.  

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