Meta Analysis 2020
This report presents the findings of an analysis of 126 Serious Case Reviews (69 serious case reviews; 45 safeguarding adult reviews; and 10 domestic homicide reviews).
The project was undertaken in response to a recognised gap in learning for the police from serious case reviews, initially highlighted as an National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) action in the first iteration of the National Vulnerability Action Plan. Within the meta-analysis project, we wanted to understand
- how police feature in serious case reviews,
- what explains missed opportunities in practice
- what cumulative and thematic learning might be present across multiple types of reviews.
A ‘systems approach’, twinned with the College of Policing’s ‘perennial issues’ framework, was applied to the analysis with specific attention to cases where police had engaged with a child, an adult-at-risk, or their families, prior to the harm or death that triggered the review. The College of Policing’s framework identifies ten priority areas where action is needed to drive improvements for the public across a range of contexts, rather than for specific crime types. We accessed reviews via local authority websites and through requests to forces and partner agencies, scanned them against inclusion criteria, logged case characteristics and qualitatively analysed narrative content relating to policing activity within the cases. In general, we found many cases did not include important demographic information about children and adults-at-risk and we also found that there is limited learning about harm to 18 and 19 year olds captured in the existing review processes. The most prevalent thematic areas of learning related to ‘identification of risk’ and ‘collaborative working’. The report also details key issues about the quality of reviews.