Probleemgericht werken aan High Impact Crime
[363] 15 maart 2022: Recognising and responding to vulnerability-related risks, Guidelines: Rapid evidence assessment

Inleiding en context

Goede morgen allemaal op deze dinsdag 15 maart 2022. Vandaag een nieuwe ´kennisparel´ waarin een systematisch overzicht wordt gepresenteerd over de wijze waarop politieagenten risico´s inschatten omtrent de kwetsbaarheid van de mensen waarmee zij in de dagelijks politiepraktijk mee in aanraking komen. Dergelijke interacties bieden goede kansen voor identificatie, bescherming en hulpverlening van en aan mensen die omvangrijke risico’s lopen voor wat betreft kwetsbaarheid. Bijgesloten ´kennisparel´ geeft een overzicht van bestaande methoden en instrumenten om die risico´s te beoordelen. Het doel is om daarmee de meest kwetsbare slachtoffergroepen in onze samenleving beter in kaart te brengen. De rapportage bestaat uit twee afzonderlijke rapporten die ik allebei heb bijgevoegd.

Bron

Critchfield, Emily, Andy Myhill & Anika Ludwig (November 2021). Recognising and responding to vulnerability-related risks, Guidelines: Rapid evidence assessment. London: Police College, 151 pp.

https://assets.college.police.uk/s3fs-public/2021-11/Recognising-responding-vulnerability-related-risks-REA.pdf en

Critchfield, Emily, Hannah Kennedy & Andy Myhill  (November 2021). Recognising and responding to vulnerability-related risks, Evidence review part two: Frontline policing vulnerability risk assessment tools Summary of research findings. London: Police College, 60 pp. https://assets.college.police.uk/s3fs-public/2021-11/Recognising-responding-vulnerability-related-risks-Evidence-review-part-2.pdf

Samenvatting

This report presents the findings of a rapid evidence assessment (REA) conducted to inform the development of the College of Policing’s national guidelines on vulnerability and risk, to support police in recognising and responding to individuals at risk of harm.

First responders and staff often face difficulties identifying indicators of vulnerability during an encounter, due to the wide range of – and the complex relationship between – risk factors. These initial police interactions present crucial opportunities to build confidence and offer protection. Responding to these opportunities requires the ability to:

  • recognise vulnerabilities and potential or actual risks of harm
  • maintain an open position of professional curiosity
  • understand one’s own responsibility
  • know the most appropriate action to take

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) have expressed concern that some forces are under ‘significant stress’ due to an increased number of recorded crimes, which may stretch them to such an extent that they risk being unable to keep people safe and meet the expected demand. Police forces continue to face increasingly complex demands with reduced resources. The concern, therefore, is that vulnerable victims may not always receive a prompt emergency response from the police, because forces have been overwhelmed by the scale of the demand they face.

In addition, inspection reports across a number of areas have highlighted issues with culture, attitudes, knowledge and understanding that affect police response to vulnerable people and victims. Police responses to vulnerability have been found to be variable and inconsistent, with recurring themes of officers not listening to victims and/or making incorrect assumptions or judgements. These issues pre-date the impact of austerity and reduced resources. Addressing the factors mentioned above will help to improve the policing response to vulnerability-related risk. It is important to acknowledge, however, that policing activity occurs as part of a wider social, public and multi-agency response. The guideline, therefore, explores how the role of the police service in responding to vulnerability-related risk aligns with the capacity and capabilities of other responding agencies, with a view to informing a wider strategic discussion on this issue. To help ensure that the guidelines are based on the best available evidence, a review of the empirical evidence was carried out to address the following question:

  • How can police officers create safe and trusting encounters that encourage vulnerable victims to engage and disclose abuse and harm?

Findings from the 119 included studies focused on factors that encourage the disclosure of abuse and harm, as well as factors that might discourage victims from such disclosures. Identifying and understanding signs of risk were also considered important for creating safe and trusting encounters. The research findings are split into 11 themes, which fall into two main groups.

  • Personal and situational circumstances of vulnerable victims and individuals that may have an impact on their ability or willingness to disclose any harm.
  • Professional behaviours (verbal and non-verbal), attitudes and beliefs that help to facilitate positive engagement, and that encourage vulnerable victims and individuals to disclose harm and provide detailed accounts that can support action to help them – and other potential victims – to be safe.

Afsluitend

Inzicht in dwingende controle door derden blijkt cruciaal voor het identificeren van kwetsbaarheid van personen waarmee de politie mee in aanraking komt. Er is veelal sprake van dwangmatige controle waarbij kwetsbaarheid van mensen verband houdt met machtsongelijkheid tussen slachtoffers en degenen die hen proberen uit te buiten. Voorstanders van het aanpakken van dwangmatige controle hebben geprobeerd de ervaringen van sommige slachtoffers van huiselijk geweld te herformuleren als ‘vrijheidsmisdrijven’, in het besef dat een primair doel is van daders om slachtoffers te beroven van hun vermogen tot zelfbeschikking. Dwingend en controlerend gedrag ligt ten grondslag aan veel van de barrières voor het beoordelen van risico´s van misbruik en kwetsbaarheid van slachtoffers die in deze review zijn geïdentificeerd. Het verklaart ook de extreme niveaus van angst en terughoudendheid van slachtoffers om melding te maken van deze dwangmatige controle. De beschreven methoden en instrumenten in de ´kennisparel´ geeft politiepersoneel de mogelijkheden om die slachtoffers toch in kaart te brengen. Daarmee kan veel leed bij slachtoffers worden gereduceerd en voorkomen. Ook hier is preventie de dominante aanpak.

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