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Written by Jim Van Allen
[Risk management and threat risk analysis is a tool used by police, corporations, and individuals that helps to protect themselves against threats and risks of violence. For our first blog post, we were very lucky to sit down with risk management expert Jim Van Allen who explains what Risk Management and why Risk Management is important. But first, here is a little bit more about Jim Van Allen.
Jim Van Allen is a Certified Profiler who has over 31 years of experience in law enforcement including 15 years as the manager of the OPP Criminal Profiling Unit. He recognizes and understands the factors that threaten personal and organizational security and can assist in dealing with personal safety challenges and/or provide a safe work environment for all. Jim currently works as a Threat and Risk Consultant for Investigative Solutions Network. For more information on Jim Van Allen please visit our website at http://www.isninc.ca/about-isn/our-team]
What is Risk Management?
Risk management can mean many different things to many different people. For some, it relates to the evaluation of corporate vulnerabilities from the economy, market fluctuations, and business, financial investment or business opportunities. It entails predicting and forecasting liabilities and how they impact corporate profitability, operations, assets and business properties.
Corporate managers, and others who are obligated to safeguard the well-being and physical safety of employees and workplaces, sometimes have to address the assessment and management of risk or threats of physical violence. Whether these risks arise internally or externally, such as disgruntled employees, former employees or contractors, managers need to be able to evaluate risk, develop and successfully implement risk mitigation strategies.
Examples of Risk Management
Common examples of risks include: anonymous threats, demands or ultimatums arising from business operations, termination of potentially violent employees, menacing conduct, co-worker stalking, intimate partner violence that invades a workplace due to an employee’s bad relationship, and an array of other menacing behaviours. If no measures are put in place, such extreme cases of attempted or actual violence can result in harm caused to employees or worse, fatalities. Other significant costs could be a disruption of operations, benefits, litigation costs and judgements.
Preparation is key to addressing risk management and almost all Canadian employers are obligated under provincial workplace violence legislation to have violence prevention policies and plans in place. Unfortunately, our experience shows that gaps occur in corporate policies, communications, and workplace cultures that condone or fail to respond to violence. Employee training and awareness, reporting mechanisms, supervisor and manager responses, are just some of the important tools that employees need to be aware of within their working environment.
Why have a Risk Assessment done?
Threat and Risk Assessment evaluates available information and characteristics about a threatening communication and if known, the authors traits. A person’s risk potential is influenced by their history of violence or other criminality, psychological and lifestyle factors, their motivation and personal stability, and the situation or circumstances in which the potentially dangerous behaviour occurs.
Profiling services help define unusual conduct and propose appropriate interventions and strategies having regard to an individual’s personality, motivation and behaviour. This analysis can assist with interviewing, describing unidentified people, determining truthfulness, and responding to challenges that concern corporate managers.
Evaluating these factors leads to the development of measured and appropriate response strategies and interventions that create obstacles to a person’s ability to commit violence, and help mitigate the risk to private citizens, businesses and corporations, and workers and workplaces.