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Innovating during the pandemic? Policing, domestic abuse and multi-agency risk assessment conferencing (MARACs)

Sandra Walklate (Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)
Barry Godfrey (Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)
Jane Richardson (Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 5 May 2021

Issue publication date: 23 June 2021

1232

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect upon the challenges posed for the ongoing implementation of multi-agency risk assessment conferences (MARACs) for police forces in England and Wales during the 2020 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

This is rapid response research involving qualitative methods primarily online semi-structured interviewing with a sample of police domestic abuse leads in England and Wales.

Findings

The findings point to increased use of virtual platforms particularly for MARACs and that this has beneficial consequences both for the police and in their view also for victim-survivors.

Research limitations/implications

The findings reported here are from policing domestic abuse leads. More work needs to be done to explore the value of engaging in virtual MARACs for all the agencies concerned but also whether MARACs continue to be the best way to ensure the victim-survivor is kept in view.

Practical implications

The use of virtual platforms carries a range of practice implications for the future of MARACs for the foreseeable future. These range from ensuring attendance of the appropriate agencies to the range and frequency of meetings, to infrastructural support for all agencies to engage.

Originality/value

This is an original study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council examining police and court responses to domestic abuse during the covid-19 pandemic.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding details: This work is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (RCUK) grant number ES/V00476X/1.Disclosure statement: The authors declare that there is nothing to disclose.

Citation

Walklate, S., Godfrey, B. and Richardson, J. (2021), "Innovating during the pandemic? Policing, domestic abuse and multi-agency risk assessment conferencing (MARACs)", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 181-190. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-11-2020-0047

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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