I thought it was time to provide a bit of an update on how things are going for the EBP Working groups at VicPD and London Police. Let's start with Victoria: The EBP group here has been busy. As you may recall, they're working on a research project looking at sexual assault investigations with an eye to understanding the extent to which these investigations have become more complex over time. To do this, they've come up with a pretty innovative methodology (with zero input from moi). Here's what Colin Watson sent me recently to describe their approach: 1) Create ‘point in time’ investigative process maps for 2007, 2012, 2017 to visually show what the processes looked like at these points in time. 2) Influences timeline – lay out on a timeline the influences that have an impact on investigative complexity (case law, policy, standards, public influence, societal trends, etc.) We will have to determine how we will describe or quantify (if that is possible) these influences into the overall study. 3) Quantitative data – we will need to identify which data points we want to extract and analyze 4) Qualitative data – primarily interviews. The UWO team (Hillary, Lorna and I) will be going out in mid-June to work with them on moving some of these pieces forward, principally we'll be there to conduct qualitative interviews and see how we can provide additional support on some of the other tasks. I have to say, they've done a fantastic job. London Although the EBP team might feel otherwise - as we've yet to have our big planning meeting - there's actually been a lot of work that's gone into our missing persons project. Andy Whitford has pulled a mass of data, which has allowed us to get a much better idea of what and where the issues are. Having some discussion back and forth with Steve Williams has been very helpful and given us more options for research ideas. Here's what we have in the pipeline ideas-wise (some of which is being done by people within LPS, some within UWO, and some collaboratively): - a study of the 'power few' individuals and places associated with multiple missing persons; - a study identifying and updating risk factors for a risk analysis instrument (demographic shifts in the population mean that these instruments need to be updated and re-verified every so often); - a study on 'how far' missing persons go when they go outside of the city;
- a study of the search/investigation process (strengths and challenges of current approaches); - a study on frontline and investigation costs associated with missing reports; - a study on possible behavioural themes associated with missing persons (a replication of an UK study), and ... after I am able to sit down with everyone on the team and review everything we have for data ... - hopefully an intervention-based study looking at how to reduce the risk of repeat missing reports, or ... - some other intervention-based study yet to be decided by the group. Here's the thing: originally, I thought it might be easier - given busy work schedules - to plug people into already existing projects. Then I realized that the joy of research comes from engaging in the WHOLE project and not just a bit of it. So our LPS meeting next month will be to get everyone to come up with plans they can be excited about just like Victoria did. Some times, as I discover yet again, the best thing you can do is to provide encouragement, offer advice and support, and then just get the hell out of the way!