an introduction to
Threat Assessment involves determining the credibility and seriousness of a potential threat; and the probability that the threat will become a reality. Threat assessments differ from violence risk assessments. Violence risk assessments are more common. They consider the general capacity of a person, and their tendency to act out violently. Instances of both these types of assessment and how they are different could be demonstrated by these examples. A risk assessment might examine whether a white supremacist, with a history of violence against Muslims, will continue to be violent against Muslims if released from prison. A threat assessment might focus on the recent troubling behaviour by a white supremacist. This could be done by evaluating how likely it is that their recent hate speech against a particular mosque could escalate into violence. So, threat assessment is heavily focussed on an individual’s immediate intentions.
Threat assessments are often used in the workplace. Some examples include:
In these instances, a threat assessment would have an important role to play in the management of an organisation’s reputation.
Threat assessments are also used in domestic violence and stalking cases. Here, the aim is to work out the likelihood that unwanted behaviours will occur, identify factors that may increase or decrease potential risks, and create tailored strategies to mitigate the threat. Stalking and domestic violence can also have a significant impact the workplace, regardless of whether the issue began in the workplace or whether the issue started elsewhere. The effects often spilled over into the workplace.
Ultimately, threat assessors seek to protect organisations and individuals from both physical and mental harm.