Psychology: Fully Funded MSc by Research at Swansea: DASH violence risk assessment for police

  • Master
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend (¬£11,702)
  • August 16, 2019

Fully Funded KESS II MSc by Research Scholarship: The Domestic Abuse Stalking and Harassment and Honour-based (DASH) violence risk assessment for police: Analysis of efficacy in practice

Start date: October 2019

This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Over 1 million women and 500,000 men suffered from domestic abuse in the UK in 2018 (ONS, 2018). Her Majesty‚Äôs Inspectorate of Constabulary (2014) highlighted the problem of repeat and prolific perpetrators of domestic violence and called on police services to do more to systematically target these offenders. Further, there is a need to understand which, among the many, offenders are likely to perpetrate the most serious domestic violence in the future (this has been termed ‚Äėdeadly violence‚Äô ‚Äď violence that caused, or could easily have caused, death).

The prediction of future violence has received a great deal of scientific interest in the past 25 years (see Gray et al., 2014) with a range of risk factors being identified for violence. In turn, these risk factors have then been used to design instruments that aid the professional to perform a risk assessment to evaluate the chances (or risk) of violent acts occurring in the future.

The Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour Based Violence (DASH, 2009), Risk Identification Assessment and Management Model was designed to improve police responses to incidents of domestic abuse. However, this model was not firmly based on risk factors that are known to predict either future domestic abuse or deadly violence. Further, there was no piloting of this instrument before its adoption by all 43 Police Forces throughout England and Wales. More recently there has been some attempt at evaluation. Robinson et al. (2016) showed that the use of DASH was rather patchy, with officers often failing to submit the form or altering it after the event. The officers gave great weight to criminal offences committed and any injuries sustained by the victim during the incident in their assessments of risk, rather than adhering to the risk evaluation scheme. The report recommended that a more evidence-based approach is needed and that issues such as coercive control and patterns of abuse need to be better understood in the context of future risk of serious domestic violence and domestic homicide. Nevertheless, the report found widespread support for the use of a formalised scheme for risk assessment from both the police and their partners.

The only quantitative study of DASH completed so far assessed 120 offenders with ‚Äúdeadly violence‚ÄĚ (Thornton, 2017). In 55% of these cases, there was no previous recorded contact with the police. Of the 13 murder cases that did have prior contact with the police, none was regarded as ‚Äúhigh-risk‚ÄĚ according to the DASH risk evaluation. The study concluded that the prediction of deadly violence from previous police contacts does not appear possible at present.

Eligibility

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in an undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related subject. They should also be eligible for UK/EU Fees.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application.
For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit the website.

Benefits

The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £11,702 p.a. dependent upon the applicant's financial circumstances.

There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.

Please note that students receiving KESS II support are not eligible for Postgraduate Master's Degree loan.

Application

Please visit our website for more information.

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