Step 7: Monitor and evaluate risk assessment practices and outcomes

To support the quality assurance of risk assessment processes and to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement, the police should do the following.

  • Improve the collection of police data on intimate partner violence (106) to allow for the identification of repeat victims and perpetrators, monitor trends and track the progression of cases across the system.
  • Ensure that police risk assessment processes and outcomes are monitored and reviewed at force, divisional and individual levels and that this is built into the overall performance management regime that police forces implement. Measures or themes that police forces could consider for performance review might include:
    • intimate partner violence incident statistics;
    • intimate partner homicide statistics;
    • data on arrests and charges;
    • repeat reported victimisation statistics (relevant to victims and repeat offending);
    • case tracking and attrition rates;
    • feedback from other agencies within the multiagency framework.
  • Incorporate monitoring and evaluation of risk assessment practices and outcomes in multiagency protocols andprocedures as part of an annual assessment process, with an action plan being developed to address any weaknesses.

Monitoring and evaluation systems are crucial for assuring the quality of risk assessment processes and in identifying weaknesses and areas for improvement. At the same time, they are also an important element in the process of ensuring that the police are accountable in carrying out their obligations to assess risk and respond to intimate partner violence within a multiagency framework. Effective supervision and performance management of police carrying out risk assessment of intimate partner violence should support this.

Monitoring mechanisms that track the progression of cases are also important, as risk is dynamic and can change over time. Responses must adapt accordingly to ensure women’s safety (see Principle 1 on risk assessment).

Data collection is a critical element of monitoring and evaluating risk assessment processes and practices. Data are needed to establish the predictive validity and accuracy of risk assessment tools, to monitor risk over time and, most importantly, to examine whether the recommended crime-preventive and victim-protective actions were implemented and the extent to which they were effective in preventing repeat intimate partner violence. Data collection, therefore, is inextricably linked to monitoring and evaluation of risk assessment processes and outcomes. Resources needed for robust data collection and analysis will vary among Member States and police forces, and collaborations with experts from academia and specialist services can be helpful and fruitful.