Reporting And Recording Crimes
‘Crimes’ that are disclosed at MARAC have to be effectively recorded in the minutes/actions section as ‘Crimes reported at MARAC’; the MARAC Chair is responsible for this. This is to ensure that crimes are correctly recorded on the Police Crime Management System (CMS); it ensures greater compliance with National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS) and Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR). It is then down to the Safeguarding Adult team (SAT) supervisor/investigator to discuss with the referring agency the nature and level of investigation that should be pursued – at all times putting the needs and views of the victim at the forefront of the decision making.
So, there are two main areas to consider here:
- How to respond as a professional (Non-Police) if a person reports a crime, regardless of assessed risk level – Standard/Medium/High
- What information needs to be taken to MARAC
How to respond
If a crime is disclosed to an agency, they should carry out a risk assessment and use their own processes and professional judgement to decide if it needs reporting to the Police. However, they should ensure that they have had as full a discussion as possible with the victim as to whether they want the offence to be reported to the Police and whether they would engage with any subsequent investigation etc. So, agencies should seek the views of victims at the point of disclosure (e.g. when completing a DASH) as to whether they wish to report any incident that could constitute a crime to the Police. If they do wish to report the incident then agencies should support the victim to do so.
If they do not wish to report the incident this should be clearly recorded e.g. on the DASH and shared with the person attending MARAC (for High Risk cases). Victims can of course change their minds and be supported to report at a later stage, however it is key that the victim’s current view regarding incidents disclosed is shared at MARAC. It is also essential that agencies follow their own Safeguarding/information sharing protocols and also ensure that advice around risk management and safety planning is given
In the case of ‘historic’ crime/s, or something that potentially increase/aggravate the risk to the victim, then it should wait until MARAC to report it to ensure a full agency response.
What information needs to be taken to MARAC?
In the cases where victims/agencies do not report to the Police prior to MARAC, it would be the responsibility for the agency that took the ‘report’ to provide MARAC with the following information with as much detail as possible in order to generate a crime report (after MARAC):
- Victim’s full name, address and DOB
- Location of where the incident took place (this is very important)
- What dates the offence took place (if you cannot be specific, please provide dates between or narrow it down to a month/season/year.) This is of particular importance to ensure that cases are not re-referred to MARAC under the ‘Repeat’ Criteria, causing additional work for the agencies attending
- Offender details: name/dob/address
- Summary of the incident/circumstances
It is the responsibility of the Police Officer from the SAT team sat in the MARAC to ensure the crime is recorded and to provide a crime reference number to complete the action. (If an investigation is ongoing, the officer can discuss with supervisory if it would be appropriate for the OIC who perhaps has more knowledge of the case to record it instead.)
Regardless of the victim not wanting to make a complaint, MARAC need a crime reference number for the action to be completed and to ensure audits can be carried out and for NCRS compliance. The majority of the cases can be closed with no investigation and recorded on the system accordingly.
Discussions/queries have been generated to query why external agencies should wait until MARAC to report a crime – it could heighten the risk to the victim if nothing is ‘done; with the disclosure for two weeks, i.e. when it is heard at MARAC. As mentioned above, Agencies should carry out a risk assessment and use their own processes and professional judgement to decide if it needs reporting to the Police and consider whether it can be reported without consent – See Footnote 2. In addition, if agencies reported every incident to the Police, it would have to be logged and marked as a ‘Domestic’, potentially proving problematic if it gets graded as priority and having to be resourced as one. If the crimes are historical then it could put the victim at further risk if Police Officers attend at the address; the majority of historical crimes can be closed with no further action but will have been recorded in line with NCRS.