New developments: Slovenian police start to use standardized risk assessment tools for calculating potential of repeated victimization in domestic violence cases
On the 20th of October 2019, the Slovenian police and the Attorney General's Office started to implement new legal provisions: the Act Amending the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA-N).
A new article aims to protect victims from further criminal acts and to use standardized risk assessment tools, namely "individual risk assessments". Accordingly, a police officer (or Attorney General in some cases) who investigates a criminal act, completes an individual risk assessment form. This form has two parts. The first part consists of questions that the victim is asked. Afterwards, answers are scored. The summed scores determine the level of risk the victim could be facing. In the second part of the form, a police officer indicates whether the risk is low, high or very high. If the victim is a minor or the level of risk is high or very high, special protection of the victim is needed.
In cases of high or very high risk, a police officer conducts victim protecting measures. These include:
(1) Recording of the hearing,
(2) Hearing with the assistance of an expert in the relevant field,
(3) Hearing in specially adapted premises,
(4) Special hearing measures,
(5) Video conferencing the hearing;
(6) Exclusion of the public from the main hearing, and
(7) Other measures such as:
(a) Prohibition of approaching,
(b) Medical and psychological assistance and social service support,
(c) Preventing unwanted contact with the perpetrator,
(d) Detention and arrest of the perpetrator because of repeated danger, etc.
It is worth noting, that the respective work practice has not been established yet: Slovenian police have just started the process to regularly carry out such activities of risk assessment and victim protection.
by Aleksander Koporec-Oberckal