Innovating during the pandemic? Policing, domestic abuse and multi-agency risk assessment conferencing (MARACs)

Sandra Walklate, Barry Godfrey, Jane Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to reflect upon the challenges posed for the ongoing implementation of multi-agency risk assessment conferences (MARACs) for police forces in England and Wales during the 2020 pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: This is rapid response research involving qualitative methods primarily online semi-structured interviewing with a sample of police domestic abuse leads in England and Wales. Findings: The findings point to increased use of virtual platforms particularly for MARACs and that this has beneficial consequences both for the police and in their view also for victim-survivors. Research limitations/implications: The findings reported here are from policing domestic abuse leads. More work needs to be done to explore the value of engaging in virtual MARACs for all the agencies concerned but also whether MARACs continue to be the best way to ensure the victim-survivor is kept in view. Practical implications: The use of virtual platforms carries a range of practice implications for the future of MARACs for the foreseeable future. These range from ensuring attendance of the appropriate agencies to the range and frequency of meetings, to infrastructural support for all agencies to engage. Originality/value: This is an original study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council examining police and court responses to domestic abuse during the covid-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adult Protection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Domestic abuse
  • Innovative practices
  • MARACs
  • Multi-agency risk assessment conferences
  • Partnerships
  • Policing
  • Rapid response research
  • Victim-survivors

Cite this