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Defining and Profiling Serial Domestic Abuse Perpetrators: An All-Wales Feasibility Review
Swansea University Author: Sam Hanks
The Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Cymru partnership commissioned this research to investigate the feasibility of developing a shared definition and common multi-agency recording process for serial domestic abuse perpetrators across Wales. This report sets out findings from phase one of the re...
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The Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Cymru partnership commissioned this research to investigate the feasibility of developing a shared definition and common multi-agency recording process for serial domestic abuse perpetrators across Wales. This report sets out findings from phase one of the research which included a qualitative mapping exercise (interviews with Police, Probation, and third sector agency representatives) along with a quantitative analysis of n=6642 anonymised domestic abuse perpetrator records provided by Wales Probation Trust. The qualitative evidence obtained for this report indicated substantial variability within and across agencies, which undoubtedly impacts upon the way in which serial abusers are identified, targeted and managed across Wales: The four Welsh police forces have a definition of serial domestic abuse in place, but each varies slightly, as do their recording systems and reporting processes. The data currently held by Probation do not enable ‘serial perpetrators’ to be easily identified, and the two IT systems used by Wales Probation Trust to manage information about domestic abuse perpetrators are not used consistently across Wales. There is not currently a systematic process in place to ensure serial perpetrators are routinely identified and flagged across all relevant third sector agencies. The quantitative case files analysis indicated the following: Roughly three-quarters of perpetrators fell into the ‘medium’ risk category (as defined in OASys or SARA). MAPPA arrangements were in place for only a small proportion (17.5%). Analysis of the risk judgments indicated significant variation across Wales (e.g., some regions had twice as many perpetrators deemed to be at ‘high’ risk). It is not possible to ascertain whether this reflects a true difference in the risk profile of perpetrators, or different assessment practices amongst Offender Managers across the regions, or a combination of these. Both the qualitative and the quantitative findings have implications for the feasibility of implementing a system for the routine identification of ‘serial’ domestic abuse perpetrators across Wales. The main recommendation arising from this research is that Police, National Offender Management Service (NOMS) in Wales, and third sector partners should work towards a commonly agreed definition of ‘serial domestic abuse’ and amend their recording systems so that these individuals may be easily identified (a full set of recommendations is provided at the end of this report). By developing an agreed profile and a shared definition of serial domestic abuse perpetrators, interventions and services can be targeted more effectively to reduce re-offending and protect victims.
Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law