Multi-agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) annual report produced for the Highlands

Issued by Police Scotland

Partner agencies including the Highland Council, NHS Highland, Police Scotland, Witness Support Scotland and local Women's Aid charities, all based in the Highlands, have produced an annual report detailing their involvement in Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences, also known as MARACs.

This annual report summarises;

  • What is MARAC?
  • What is the purpose of MARAC?
  • How does MARAC work?

By using an illustrative example, based on real events, the annual report also demonstrates how MARAC works in practice. In addition, the report includes some national and local statistical data on domestic abuse and MARAC.

MARACs, which were introduced in Highland in 2013, are regular local meetings where information about high risk domestic abuse victims (those at risk of serious harm) is shared between local agencies. By bringing all agencies together at a MARAC and ensuring that wherever possible the voice of the victim is represented by Women's Aid, a risk focused, coordinated safety plan can be drawn up to support the victim.

Some domestic abuse figures:

  • 1137 women accessed support from Women's Aid in Highland during 2013
  • 436 high risk domestic abuse cases were referred to MARAC in Highland during 2013
  • Police attended 2156 ‘domestic incidents' in Highland during 2013

MARACs are attended by representatives from a range of agencies including Police Scotland, NHS Highland, Highland Council, Women's Aid, Victim Support Scotland and a range of specialist services from the statutory and third sectors including Education, Social Work, Criminal Justice, Housing, Mental Health, Substance Misuse, Fire Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service. During the meeting relevant and proportionate information is shared about the current risks, enabling representatives to identify options to increase the safety of the victim, her/his children and to manage the behaviour of the perpetrator.

In Highland, MARACs have been under development for some time and during 2013 an operating model was rolled out across Highland providing a standardised and coordinated approach to reducing the risk of serious harm to those assessed to be of high risk of domestic abuse.

On publishing this Annual Report, the Chair of the Violence Against Women Partnership, Elaine Mead said: "Considerable effort and cooperation across many agencies in the public, private and third sector involved in the MARAC process has created an environment in the Highland where, as far as is possible, the risks of domestic abuse posed to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities are minimised through effective partnership working.

"The development and roll out of MARAC across Highland has resulted in improved systems, processes and practice which contributes positively to reducing risk to victims of domestic abuse and supports wider public protection."

A copy of the report can be found on the Highland Council website - MARAC Annual Report 2013

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2 Oct 2014
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