Enhancing risk assessment for police Public Protection Units

Enhancing risk assessment for police Public Protection Units

This week Dr Mark Farrall will be presenting to Thames Valley Police on Motivational Interviewing in the context of risk assessment. Public Protection Unit (PPU) officers are responsible for the monitoring of released sexual offenders in the community, and are now using the Active Risk Management System (ARMS) instrument.

The traditional police function of monitoring and preventing offending is growing closer to a more rehabilitative function associated with probation - with the implication of 'nudging' offenders towards change.

Dr Farrall noted "The ARMS seems a very good risk assessment, including principles of static and dynamic risk factors, such as Ignition developed for our RADAR risk assessment with intimate partner violence and abuse.

However, any risk assessment is only as good as the quality of information it is based on. In 2012 Ignition worked with Avon and Somerset Constabulary as a far-sighted officer there realised the change in role for PPU staff meant they needed new skills to enhance information gathering and risk assessment, and facilitate change where possible.

Ignition have an international reputation in the criminal justice applications of the communications approach of Motivational Interviewing, which answers the need, and trained a limited number of Avon & Somerset staff in core skills.

Now the same need has been recognised by Thames Valley police as the ARMS instrument rolls out nationally".