This evaluation project is managed by the Vulnerability and Violent Crime Programme, which was set up by the College of Policing from a grant awarded by the Police Transformation Fund. It is one of eight projects overseen by the programme.Three police forces (Cumbria, West Midlands and Lancashire) have started a pilot intervention project involving the use of two risk tools; the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA v3) and Stalking Assessment and Management (SAM). The pilot is being co-ordinated by the National Offender Management Service. A sample of police officers (offender managers - OMs) from the three forces have been trained in the use of these tools, and will apply the tools to a sample of highest risk suspects/offenders in their force area. The aim of using these tools is to improve the risk assessment/management of perpetrators of domestic violence and stalking, thereby reducing offending or reoffending of these individuals and helping to safeguard victims. The research project will evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the training given to police officers, and measure the impact of using the risk assessment tools in each force. A cost-benefit analysis will also attempt to identify any economic benefits of the intervention.
Interviews, focus groups, document reviews and expert review will be used in the evaluation of this intervention.Views of the training will be analysed to see whether the content is appropriate, and whether there are any improvements in the knowledge and confidence of OMs in the application of risk assessment and risk management. The consistency in the decisions and outputs between OMs will also be compared, and the quality of the decisions will also be reviewed. Partner agencies will also be interviewed to understand how well information is shared. Six months into the evaluation, OMs will participate in focus groups to explore whether use of the tools has changed practice. At this point, the outcomes of cases assessed using the tools, will be compared against a propensity score matched group of cases assessed by professional judgement.