Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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  • Domestic abuse orders: risk, vulnerability and training

    Purpose: The use of emergency barring orders (EBO) in the form of domestic violence protection notices and orders (DVPN-O) in reported domestic abuse (DA) cases is a relatively new development in the UK; the effectiveness of these orders has been challenged. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors influencing their issue. Design/methodology/approach: Freedom of information (FOI) requests were used alongside a survey tool. Practitioners (n = 76; mainly police practitioners) were asked about approaches to EBO application, risk and training around DA. Findings: The findings indicate that applications are impacted largely by domestic abuse stalking harassment risk grading, typically resulting in high-risk cases receiving the most attention. Criticisms suggesting that DVPN-Os are of limited use receive some support from this study; however, as their use is restricted to these higher-risk cases, the full effect of the orders may be limited. The most important factors in decision-making are the level of physical violence, repeated victimization and the victims support for a DVPN-O. Police intelligence and the presence of children also have an effect on risk ratings. Less importance was given to lower risk–graded cases, wider intelligence from family members and information from social networks. Findings also indicate that police training is largely limited to “on-the-job” experience, e-learning and e-mail bulletins. Practical implications: Respondents proposed that training could be enhanced through victim stories, cross-discipline approaches and wider knowledge beyond isolated specialisms. A number of recommendations are made in line with: structuring professional judgment, using victim accounts in police training and movement toward an evidence-led approach. Originality/value: This research demonstrates a clear link to the way in which risk and the use of EBO are used by police officers. This research also highlights the desire to see and hear from victims in police training. The value of this research is shown in both the combined approach of FOI requests and a survey and assessing a currently under-researched area of DA response.

  • Middle childhood vulnerability to drugs and alcohol

    Purpose: There are identified problems facing law enforcement in the correct approach to childhood drug and alcohol use at street level which can cause aggression, developmental, psychological problems and family conflict (Maher and Dixon, 1999). Childhood exposure to drugs and alcohol can encourage criminal activity, anti-social conduct and increased child-to-parent conflict (Brook et al., 1992; Reinherz et al., 2000; Coogan, 2011; McElhone, 2017). Design/methodology/approach: The purpose of this study is to explore middle-childhood (11-15 years) experiences of drugs and alcohol through a survey to determine the earliest opportunity for the involvement of services based on the experiences of children. Findings: The key findings are alcohol consumption in middle childhood is supported by parental alcohol provision; those in middle childhood are most likely to consume alcohol at home and drugs at street level (any place away from home including school, young clubs, open public space and parks); children in middle childhood use mainly cannabis to experience euphoria, minimize childhood problems and to fulfill acquisitive desire; and late childhood shows movement away from street-level drug use to drug use in private spaces with friends and increased levels of experiential or social drinking, within spaces shared by larger social groups. Practical implications: The authors propose that a health-orientated early help model in middle childhood should be adopted, with support such as community- and school-based child and parental drug education; wider information sharing between schools, policing and health authorities at an early stage to support a contextual safeguarding approach; and recognition and recording practices around middle childhood which is an acute phase for children to become involved in drug and alcohol consumption. Originality/value: Children’s drug use in middle childhood is often not recorded, and the problem can be associated with simple ill-parenting approaches. The authors believe that little was known about the spaces and occurrence of drug and alcohol use in middle childhood.

  • The subjective experiences of liaison and diversion staff who encounter individuals with autism

    Purpose: Research suggests that individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are inconsistently supported throughout the criminal justice system (CJS) in the UK. Bradley (2009) recommended the introduction of criminal justice liaison and diversion (L&D) teams to bridge the gap between the CJS and mental health services and provide a more consistent and improved quality of support for individuals with vulnerabilities, including those with autism. This study aims to explore the experiences of staff working in L&D teams who encounter individuals with ASD. Design/methodology/approach: Interviews were conducted with ten L&D team members. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to gain insight into their lived experiences of working with autism in the CJS. Findings: Interpretation of individual transcripts resulted in three super-ordinate themes: “feeling helpless and helpful in the system”, “transition to knowing” and “impact on self”. Each theme encapsulated a number of sub-themes depicting the limitations of services, difficult environments, making a difference, lack of understanding, developing understanding and the impact of these experiences on staff’s confidence, attitudes and well-being. Practical implications: Criminal justice services are limited for people with autism. There is a lack of autism awareness by staff. Lack of awareness impacts staff attitudes and confidence. Training in autism should be provided to criminal justice staff. Originality/value: This research highlights the limitations of services available for individuals with autism and the widespread lack of autism awareness. These concerns directly impacted participants’ confidence, attitudes and well-being. Recommendations are proposed to guide future practice and research including increasing availability of access to ASD services, enforcing mandatory autism-specific training for staff and routinely collecting service-user feedback.

  • The impact of the prison environment on behavioral changes of inmates: a study of inmates in Kosovo and Finland

    Purpose: This study aims to focus on understanding the prison environment, inmates’ behavior and perceptions of the prison environment, analyzing the degree of awareness, rehabilitation and the programs that apply to prisons in both countries. It is assumed that the data that emerge from this research will contribute to a better understanding of the prisoner’s world of their perception about the prison environment in Kosovo and Finland. The study focused on inmates’ perception about the prison environment and their attitudes toward their sentences. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative study through in-depth interviews. Findings: The results of this study indicated that inmates in Kosovo perceived the prison environment in a very negative light. The main reasons for this were the dissatisfaction with their status of being inmates and also lack of an appropriate classification of inmates. However, even though inmates in Finland perceived prison environment in a positive light, they still think that more educative programs are needed. Practical implications: The results of this study indicated that Kosovo Correctional Service should implement more rehabilitative programs and improve its classification system. Criminal Sanction Agency in Finland as per results should increase efforts for implementation of new programs and aftercare action plans. Originality/value: To the best of the author’s knowledge, it is the first research on inmates in two countries Kosovo and Finland, and this added new knowledge to the existing information about the prison environment in Kosovo and Finland. The results of this research gave an idea to respective institutions to add new rehabilitative and aftercare programs.

  • The application of scam compliance models to investment fraud offending

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to undertake an exploratory study on mapping the investment fraud methods and tactics used by scammers against the emerging literature on scam compliance. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative interviews were conducted with victims of investment fraud supported by the engagement of specialist counsellors and allied health professionals who specialise in scam victim support (including investment fraud). Findings: Investment fraud offending in the cases sampled exhibited a number of dominant offending traits and methodological themes. These included a strong reliance or dependency on legitimate service provisioning on the part of the fraudster and the use of key trust measures to lure the victim. The empirical data revealed the presence of a number of scam compliance influences captured in the literature, including trust, social influence and urgency, as well as others not previously documented that pave the way for further research attention. Research limitations/implications: The research only examined a sample of investment fraud victim experiences that engaged a national victim support service immediately following detection over a 24 month period. Practical implications: The research found that offending relied upon the participation of trust-building signals and measures. Legitimate economy participants appear to play a dominant role in enabling investment scam activities, further creating efficiencies for criminals. The offending tended to follow a number of distinct but connected phases. Impacts were influenced by specific offending attributes, such as whether remote access was given to offenders of a victim’s device, as well as the nature of the identity credentials access. Originality/value: The research has practically applied an emerging view of scam compliance influences and vulnerabilities within an investment fraud context. The study is novel in its thematic analysis of the distinct phases and tactics used by scammers.

  • Preface to fraud and fraud prevention: international perspectives
  • Cost of crime in Ukraine: an empirical analysis

    Purpose: This paper aims to analyze the cost of crime as understood in Ukrainian and foreign criminology, investigating both the direct and indirect damage caused by crime, its social consequences and Ukrainians’ attitudes toward its costs. Design/methodology/approach: From January 2018 to May 2019, data were gathered using an online questionnaire from 717 respondents between 14 and 65 years of age residing in all regions of Ukraine. Findings: Results suggest a high level of concern among Ukrainian citizens regarding security and crime. Latent criminality, crime rates and mistrust of law enforcement are high in Ukraine. It was found that the total cost of crime to the respondents (losses from crimes) reached UAH2m, and 69.3 per cent reported fear of becoming a victim of crime, with 26.2 per cent indicating that they had already been victims. Practical implications: The knowledge of the cost of crime obtained in this study is vital for understanding crime in Ukraine. The results could be effectively leveraged to develop effective and cost-efficient means of combating crime. They could also be used to forecast crime rates, and thus, optimize future responses to the challenges of crime. Originality/value: This is the first comprehensive study of the cost of crime in Ukraine and it indicates both the tangible and intangible costs of the damage it inflicts. Notwithstanding the country-specific case-study context, the results could inform discussions and decisions at a broader international scale, subject to the usual caveats.

  • Reflecting on outcome-based education for human services programs in higher education: a policing degree case study

    Purpose: This paper aims to consider the impact of outcome-based education (OBE) on students studying human services degrees, particularly those in a policing program. This work examines the validity of the notion that OBE is a progressive teaching approach that improves the quality of education and subsequently professional practice. Design/methodology/approach: A critical analysis of a systemised outcome-based teaching and learning approach is adopted. Findings: OBE has, as an idea, swept across most educational institutions in an apparently revolutionary wave. However, any critical scrutiny of this systemised approach to teaching and learning calls into question whether it is really progressive or empty rhetoric achieving reactionary ends. Any systemised attempt at social change by way of neo-liberal outcomes that are not principle-driven will serve only to reinforce a philosophy of aggressive competition and individualism at the expense of the rule of law and social policy that is situated on a social contract foundation. Practical implications: The practical implications of this paper relate to the delivery of higher education teaching, with particular reference to human service degrees such as policing: the use of post-modernist theory to develop contemporary teaching and learning systems has created challenges with regards to scientific knowledge; a principled, deontological teaching and learning system rather than a utilitarian “outcome”-based delivery is proposed; the validity of the notion that outcome-based teaching and learning systems are progressive initiatives that improve the quality of education is questioned; and the impact of OBE for students entering human services professions such as policing has implications for public and community safety. Originality/value: This paper considers the efficacy of OBE as a model for higher education teaching, with particular reference to human services degrees such as policing.

  • A study of cybercrime victimisation and prevention: exploring the use of online crime prevention behaviours and strategies

    Purpose: The evolution of digital technology has changed the way in which we, as a global society, socialise and conduct business. This growth has led to an increasing reliance on technology, much more interconnectedness and in turn, an expansion of criminal opportunities, known now as “cybercrime”. This study aims to explore the experience of victimisation, perceptions of cybercrime and use of online crime prevention strategies. Design/methodology/approach: The study involved a survey of a representative sample of the adult Australian population. The study sample was made up of 595 Australian adult participants. The study seeks to better understand how previous victimisation, perception of cybercrime prevalence and perception of harm caused by cybercrime are related to the use of online crime prevention strategies. It seeks to contribute to a body of work that has found that crime prevention education focused on increasing knowledge is limited in its effectiveness in reducing victimisation. Findings: This study identifies key levers, in particular perceived prevalence and harm of cybercrime, as critical in the use of online crime prevention strategies by potential victims. Research limitations/implications: As such, this study provides an important evidence base on which to develop more effective online crime prevention education and awareness campaigns to reduce cybervictimisation. Practical implications: The practical implications include the relationship between cybervictimisation and self-protective online strategies of potential victims and the development of more effective online crime prevention programmes. Originality/value: The research takes a different perspective from much of the previous research, seeking to better understand how attitudinal factors (perceived prevalence of cybercrime and perceived harm of cybercrime) might motivate or influence the use of online crime prevention strategies by potential victims.

  • Vulnerability as a driver of the police response to fraud

    Purpose: Frameworks for understanding victim harm and vulnerability have become central to priority-setting and resource allocation for decision-makers in the police and government in the UK. This paper aims to look at the meaning of vulnerability in the context of fraud. Design/methodology/approach: The research took a mixed methods approach, including analysis of national crime data (n = 61,902), qualitative data collected from interviews with practitioners (n = 107) and a survey of strategic lead officers in the police (n = 32). Findings: There was a lack of clarity across practitioners and organisations in their understanding of vulnerability and the way it informed the police response to fraud, and a lack of resources and capability for identifying it. Research limitations/implications: The authors invite reconsideration of the approach to fraud victims which have for too long been forgotten by response and support agencies. Practical implications: We need to standardise and agree the definition of “vulnerability”; rethink eligibility levels; and refocus police on fraud victims taking vulnerability as a meaningful criterion in deciding who to support. Originality/value: There is very little research on vulnerability and fraud victims; this paper, based on original research, fills this gap.

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