Principle 3. Establishing an evidence-based approach

Expected result: Trained police are able to use collected administrative data on intimate partner violence in monitoring and evaluating risk management strategies and interventions, to better prevent repeat victimisation.

Recommendations for improving evidence-based approaches to risk management

Risk management monitoring should include data from administrative sources and disaggregate the data in compliance with European legal frameworks as follows:

  • the number and type of the reported crimes;
  • the number, age and gender of the victims;
  • the number of cases investigated;
  • the number of persons prosecuted;
  • the number of persons sentenced.

In addition, it should include the following minimum required data disaggregation:

  • sex of victim and perpetrator;
  • age of victim and perpetrator type of violence;
  • relationship of the perpetrator to the victim;
  • geographical location;
  • other relevant factors, such as race, disability and other characteristics (114).

In this context, EIGE has developed a shortlist of 13 indicators to support Member States in meeting the minimum requirements of the Victims’ Rights Directive and the Istanbul Convention, and to guide data collection by the police and those working in the justice sector across the EU (115).

Police should have access to data (where available) from:

  • related civil actions, e.g. the outcomes of child contact decisions in civil courts;
  • perpetrator treatment programmes;
  • medical and psychological records regarding perpetrators.

Delivering victim safety and reduced reoffending requires an evidence-based approach to policing intimate partner violence. Such an approach requires good data and proportionate monitoring. Monitoring should support analysis of police performance.

The data collected could also be used for training needs analyses and to provide feedback, enabling more effective management and supervision of officers. Resources needed for robust data collection and analysis will vary across police forces and Member States. Collaborations with experts from academia and/or specialist services will be necessary to establish robust and useful data collection strategies.

Good risk management also requires relevant quality assurance that embeds and monitors understanding of gender in police performance management structures. For example, police should implement monitoring exercises that scrutinise risk assessment and management practice on an annual basis. These exercises might include annual quality assurance reviews, which could be reported on internally or to government sources, or included in annual reports. Certain indicators can be chosen to measure the extent to which practitioners carry out their work effectively, including on how a gendered understanding of intimate partner violence is applied in their routine work.

Quality assurance could include monitoring the completeness and accuracy of risk assessments; the rates of reporting, offending and investigating; levels of evidence and outcomes in cases of intimate partner violence (especially offences such as stalking, harassment and coercive control); and numbers of protectionorders, referrals to victim services, etc. Furthermore, this information should be disaggregated for different categories of victims to determine whether practice is better or worse for certain groups (intersectional analysis). Producing annual reports with this level of information and analysis would help to ensure that all available information is being used to provide feedback on police performance, thereby improving practice. Specific targets should be set at national level that measure risk management performance at relevant levels (local, regional, national).

A current challenge for police and other sectors across Europe is the implementation of the GDPR. Information and data collection as well as data-sharing agreements can support timely and appropriate policing and multiagency working.

Police leadership should consider negotiating relevant provisions for information sharing with data-protection officials at national levels, with the aim of improving public protection and community responses to intimate partner violence against women.