Researchers from Swinburne University of Technology have collaborated with Victoria Police and Forensicare to win gold at the 2017 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).
Researchers and students from the Centre for Behavioural Science at Swinburne (CFBS) have been recognised for their work on the Enhancing Police Responses to Family Violence Project.
The ACVPAs are coordinated by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), and celebrate best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.
The team at CFBS conducted research going back to 2015, and developed tools and systems to help improve family violence risk assessment and management by Victoria Police.
Victoria Police Superintendent Stuart Bateson has worked closely with the project, and believes it has improved Victoria Police’s operations.
“The development of an evidence based risk assessment tool has led to a significant uplift in our capability to respond to family violence and improve outcomes for victims,” said Superintendent Bateson.
“This award is a worthy recognition for the innovation and collaboration shown by our project partners.”
The CFBS began research for The Enhancing Police Responses to Family Violence Project in 2015, just one year after the centre was first opened.
Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Forensic Psychology at Swinburne Dr Troy McEwan hopes winning the award will bring more exposure to the project.
“It’s lovely to have recognition of our efforts at a national level,” she says.
“To have the platform that the award provides will increase knowledge of our project and the approach to reducing the harms associated with family violence.”
Dr McEwan is hopeful the results of the project will be the springboard for more collaboration between CFBS and Victoria Police.
“We hope that the results of this collaboration will lead to opportunities to expand the current project further,” Dr McEwan says.
“Including implementing and evaluating it (risk assessment) in rural areas and with particularly vulnerable populations.”
Acting AIC Director Nicole Rose PSM praised the project for its innovative approach to the issue of family violence.
“Enhancing Police Responses to Family Violence is a unique collaborative program between police, health and academia that has contributed to reductions in family violence-related charges,” Ms Rose said.
“The project proves that a strong evidence-based approach to identifying and responding to family violence through actuarial risk assessment is effective in addressing the complex issue of family violence in Australia.”
This project has been funded by The Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local (MRNWM-ML) Legacy Grants Program. This program is committed to the long term health of the North Western Melbourne and Macedon Ranges community.
To learn more about the 2017 Gold ACVPA winners, watch this video.
For more information about the award winners, visit www.aic.gov.au/acvpa
To view the latest crime and justice statistics visit www.crimestats.aic.gov.au