Cold case homicides and assigning priority for investigation: a review of available literature

Nurthen, Katrina and van der Laan, Luke ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2275-8974 (2022) Cold case homicides and assigning priority for investigation: a review of available literature. Policing: An International Journal. pp. 1-16. ISSN 1363-951X


Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this scoping literature review was to identify and consolidate all available theories and methods for cold case homicide evaluation, solvability and priority ranking that would serve to guide a broader exploratory study and future research. Design/methodology/approach: The paper presents the findings of a scoping literature review. The review forms part of a broader exploratory study. The scoping literature review sought to identify reported evidence from the extant literature in identifying and defining key concepts relevant to cold prioritisation. It also sought to identify any knowledge gaps relevant to the scoping review question. Findings: The review suggested that internationally, there is a wide variance and inconsistency in the processes, methods and criteria used by policing agencies to evaluate and prioritise cold cases for investigation. Despite this, there were four themes that could be regarded as [parameters for future cold case research: cold case evaluation and review, prioritisation methods, solvability and prioritisation systems and tools. The review revealed several gaps in the literature. No papers could be found discussing the allocation of individual priority rankings based on any kind of weighted criteria system or model. Further, no information could be found in the available literature on any automated systems, online tools, algorithms, or applications utilised when evaluating or prioritising cases. Research limitations/implications: The research results are limited in that it is possible that relevant extant literature exists that was not discoverable using the scoping review search strategy. Practical implications: The paper is a part of a broader exploratory study that seeks to develop a framework for cold case prioritisation that, in a time where public scrutiny has increased, has increased transparency with clearly articulated criteria for evaluation and process. Originality/value: This paper assimilates the extant literature associated with cold case evaluation and prioritisation and presents a summary of themes and gaps in knowledge that informs future research.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 11 May 2022 01:21
Last Modified: 11 May 2022 01:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: Thematic analysis, Scoping review, Prioritisation, Knowledge gaps, Cold case
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4402 Criminology > 440201 Causes and prevention of crime
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4402 Criminology > 440206 Critical approaches to crime
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2304 Justice and the law > 230402 Crime prevention
23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2304 Justice and the law > 230404 Law enforcement
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-12-2021-0170
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/48438

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