Monday, 24 August 2015

Female Perpetrators of Murder, Domestic Violence and Modern Slavery

By Professor Olinga Ta’eed

Director, Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance

Intuition tells us that these three subjects must be connected by sentiment if nothing else. Words such as rage, oppression, freedom are emotive expressions  which until recently could not be quantified and thus only qualitatively connected.  The latter makes for an interesting lecture, but frankly it’s hardly ground breaking. This made last weeks inaugural lecture by Dr Jarka Hrabetova, our newly appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance all the more fascinating in her unique approach to these delicate subjects.

Her research sample consisted of all imprisoned women who had perpetrated murder in one particular prison ie half of all incarcerated women in the Czech Republic. The data detected the forms of murderous behaviour of women, the typology of murder by motivation, mapping the social situation of female convicts in prison, selected attitudes of homicide offenders including the analysis of family murders. The results indicate that most are intimate murders with the most common being partner homicide in conflict situations, long-term domestic violence and excessive alcohol consumption for both victim and perpetrator. The 100+ academic audience found comfort in her robust methodology which supported her conclusions but the real surprise was what she presented next. 

Building on the results of her sound but traditional research approach, Jarka has gone on to use Sentiment Analysis, a methodology stemming from the burgeoning Semantic Web 3.0, to analyse her data with a view to devise quantifiable metrics to define, and thereby forecast,  catastrophic events based on emotion – like murder. This is the stuff of the future and her work cannot be undervalued. My daughter, Tigris, has drawn out the analogy to Tom Cruise’s 2002 film ‘Minority Report’ where foreknowledge Is used to predict crime. This is powerful stuff.

Going even further, Jarka’s has extended her theory to applications in Domestic Violence, Honoured Based Violence and Modern Slavery. Using the Social Earnings Ratio in the context of ‘Personal Value’, she is defining trigger points to intimate murders, to DV and HBV in the context of criminology. And even further still, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 which is obtained Queen’s Royal Ascent in March 2015 in the UK will be enacted later this year. Companies with turnover of more than UK£36m will have to disclose whether they are making efforts to eliminate slavery in supply chains. Modern Slavery has principally two components – pay and oppression – and Jarka is working to define the latter benchmark whilst her colleague, Rani Kaur, works on the former. In this respect Jarka’s previous research work on Human Trafficking and her 12 year background in the police force has provided us with great insights. CCEG aims to provide the go-to metric behind the Modern Slavery Act 2015, just as we have become the leading provider of measurement under the Social Value Act 2012.

We are living in a time when how we feel about things can be quantified and becomes the new lexicon of intangible non-financial values. These modern tools such as S/E allow Jarka to seamlessly draw from her Prague work on female perpetrators of murder and apply it to the measurement of Ambition for the Arts Council in Corby, a middle-England town which is the focus of her most recent work. Who would have believed that would be possible?
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[The views and opinions expressed in this blogs by guests or members of the CCEG are those of the author, and not of the CCEG or the University of Northampton Business School]