Scottish Institute of Policing Research have awarded a grant to Prof Lesley Diack and the Domestic Abuse Task Force at Police Scotland, led by DCI Samantha McCluskey, to assess the impact of code 52 special bail visits for domestic abuse perpetrators.
In 2013-2014 special bail was granted to 6005 of those who went to court for domestic abuse offences. It is normal practice that subsequently two police officers conduct three random code 52 visits in four weeks to check that the perpetrators are meeting their bail conditions.
The frequency and the timing of these bail visits have never been researched and there is no robust evidence that indicates the optimum number of visits, whether the type of visit needs to be bespoke or the impact of the visit on recidivism.
This research project will collate and interrogate the data to identify recommendations and ways forward for Police Scotland. This will help create a consistent service for the victims of crime, but also help protect them from any subsequent acts of abuse.
It is anticipated that the analysis will produce a check-list for police use during the bail visits to assess potential recidivism. The research will allow Police Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Task Force to develop an evidence base to establish an optimum number of code 52 visits. DCI McCluskey has indicated that this could potentially cut costs for Police Scotland, increase efficiency of this vital service and reduce reoffending.
In the longer term the researchers will be able to build on this award to develop a larger research project investigating the impact of bail visits on all sexual crime offenders including rapists and murderers.