Recent research led by Professor Amanda Robinson in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University (available at http://orca.cf.ac.uk/111010 or you can listen to a podcast below ) involved a thematic review of three different types of death reviews: Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs), Mental Health Homicide Reviews (MHHRs) and Adult Practice Reviews (APRs). This was the first study to compare different death reviews, and the findings identified similar key themes or learning points across the reviews. The research highlighted the need for better learning to emerge from death reviews, in order to enhance the future safeguarding practice of professionals such as police officers, social workers and those working in health and social care.
A key recommendation from the research was to establish a central repository or national library in order to promote the accessibility of completed death reviews to facilitate learning across Wales. In addition, it could help to facilitate cutting-edge research amongst academic stakeholders in Wales, the UK and internationally.
In response, the Crime and Security Research Institute (CSRI) at Cardiff University has committed resources to develop a ‘Safeguarding Repository’, which will be hosted on a secure server at the CSRI. The creation of the Repository is already underway, involving collaboration between Cardiff University (Professor Robinson and staff at the CSRI), the National Independent Safeguarding Board, and Welsh Government.
The creation of the repository will involve three stages:
Development: creation of the core storage and access functionality for the repository; involvement of ‘subject matter experts’ to ensure it is user-friendly for both practitioners and academics, helping identify suitable keywords and indexing functions for searching content, etc.
Implementation & maintenance: development of a protocol by which existing death reviews are identified and deposited into the repository in a timely fashion; raising awareness across practitioners and academics about the existence and capabilities of the repository, etc.; maintaining and updating of the IT infrastructure.
Innovation: going beyond the core functionality to enable advances in the disciplines of computer science and criminology, e.g., deep text mining for question-answering and hypothesis generation (uncovering of ‘unknown unknowns’).
A demonstration of the Repository’s functionality is planned for the second annual meeting of the Domestic Homicide Research Network, hosted at the CSRI in late November 2018 (invitation only).
If you have any queries or interest in the project, please feel free to contact Professor Robinson at RobinsonA@cardiff.ac.uk for further details.