INTELLIGENCE Volume 2, Issue 6, Summer 2014: Canada’s Proposed Cyberbullying Legislation

Welcome to the sixth issue of the second volume of Intelligence.

Intelligence will keep you up to date with the recent advances in threat assessment from around the globe.

World-leading threat assessment figures have agreed to share their knowledge and experiences and serve on the Intelligence editorial board.

We also encourage you to contribute and provide feedback.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Kevin Douglas who has recently joined the ProActive ReSolutions team as a Threat Assessment Specialist. Kevin received his law degree from the University of British Columbia in 2000, and his Ph.D. in clinical forensic psychology in 2002. He previously was on faculty at the University of South Florida, and currently is on faculty at Simon Fraser University. He is also a Guest Professor of Applied Criminology at Mid-Sweden University, and a Senior Research Advisor at the University of Oslo. Kevin has worked clinically in correctional, forensic, and general psychiatry settings. He has extensive experience in the development and evaluation of violence risk assessment approaches and measures. He has also conducted research on the role that psychopathy and mental illness can play in violent crime. Kevin has over 130 publications on these topics, and is the lead author of the most recent version of the Historical-Clinical-Risk Management – 20 (HCR-20, Version 3) risk assessment guidelines, published in 2013. He has provided numerous trainings to professionals on the HCR-20, and other risk assessment and forensic topics. Dr. Douglas has contributed our latest legal update, Canada’s Proposed Cyberbullying Legislation.

We hope Intelligence will continue to provide a forum for you to share and develop your expertise in threat assessment.


Kelly A. Watt, PhD
Threat Assessment Specialist
ProActive ReSolutions Inc.

Practice Update

The Importance of Interview Skills for Informing Threat Assessments

Update by Mr. Bram Van der Meer, Van der Meer Investigative Psychologists

Fundamental to any threat assessment is the information it is based on. In order to conduct a threat assessment the assessor has to use information provided to him by the client, or provided to him by sources one finds and investigates oneself. The core of the business of a threat assessment professional is to then synthesize the information collected and develop a comprehensive management plan aimed at reducing risk for violence by targeting situations that are under their control. Good information is essential to the quality of the management tactics and strategies provided. In fact, if the assessor relies on incomplete, unreliable or questionable information, the assessment will be flawed, and the management strategies may be counter-productive or may even lead to dangerous escalations.  The interview is one of the core methods that can be used to ensure good quality information. It allows us both to approach new sources and to gather collateral information.

All the information needed to conduct a comprehensive threat assessment can rarely be found in documented sources or electronic systems, but in many cases collateral sources possess critical information that is not recorded elsewhere. This makes the interview one of the most important methods of information gathering. But the interview is also one of the areas where most mistakes are made, because people are contextual and dynamic, behaviour often is misinterpreted or miscommunicated, and the interviewer is not always successful in being the neutral objective fact finder.

Nevertheless, the interview gives us the opportunity to reach important and sometimes unexpected new insights. Furthermore, it also can be considered one of the very few methods to reach a good understanding of the interviewee and the dynamic and contextual factors. It also provides useful information for practical interventions aimed at reducing violence risk and increasing safety (e.g., victim safety planning, referrals to support services).

The professionalism and skills of the interviewer can make the difference between obtaining very useful knowledge and not obtaining very useful information, between finding evidence to support hypotheses and not finding any evidence to support hypotheses. Research in the behavioural sciences provides useful practical information on strategies that prove to be successful about which interview styles lead to reliable information and successful interviews. It is therefore an important investment for threat assessment professionals to obtain a good understanding of interviewing skills and methods (e.g., interviewing styles, interviewing preparation, interviewing templates).

If you are interested in further developing your skills in this area, the upcoming CATAP Conference is offering a 2-day Investigative Interviewing Workshop embedded in current research and best practice for threat assessment professionals. See for further information about the conference.

Gudjonsson G.H. (2002). The psychology of Interrogations and Confessions: A Handbook. Chichester: Wiley.

Legal Update

Canada’s Proposed Cyberbullying Legislation

Update by Dr. Kevin Douglas

In recent years, Canadians have been shocked and saddened by the suicides of two young people who had been bullied, threatened, and exploited online. In 2012, Amanda Todd committed suicide at the age of 15 after posting pleas for help online. Images of her in a state of partial undress had been distributed online and used to exploit and humiliate her. In 2013, Rehtaeh Parsons attempted suicide at the age of 17 and was shortly thereafter taken off life support. A video of her alleged rape two years earlier had been distributed online, and used to humiliate and bully her.

These tragedies led to public outrage and calls for more effective laws to deal with online bullying and exploitation. The Government of Canada responded by establishing a cybercrime working group, which ultimately produced a report recommending amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada to better capture and facilitate the prosecution of the “non-consensual distribution of intimate images” (Coordinating Committee of Senior Officials [CCSO], Cybercrime Working Group, 2013, p. 2). The CCSO defined cyberbullying as behaviour that “involves the use of information and communication technologies that support deliberate, hostile, and often repeated behaviour by an individual or group that is intended to hurt others” (p. 3).

The CCSO report can be considered to reflect the legislative intent behind Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act (Canadian Bar Association [CBA], 2014) which has passed second reading in Parliament and is currently under consideration for adoption. In addition to amending various pieces of legislation to facilitate investigation of online criminality, the legislation would make it an offence to criminalize the knowingly published intimate images of others without their consent. An “intimate image” would be defined as a “visual recording” (i.e., photograph, film, or video) in which a person is nude; exposing his or her genitals, breasts, or anal region; engaged in sexual activity; in a place or circumstances in which the person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Currently, non-consensual distribution of intimate images is only prohibited under the law when it involves child victims, and thus falls within Criminal Code provisions related to child pornography; or when it involves a pattern of conduct that reasonably causes fear, and thus fall within the provisions related to criminal harassment (“stalking”). In contrast, Bill C-13 would apply to images of people of any age and is not restricted to images related children. Interestingly, although Bill C-13 was intended to criminalize cyber-bullying, it does not require that the non-consensual distribution of intimate images is done with malicious intent (i.e., to harm, bully, humiliate, or exploit others)—it appears to assume that such acts are obviously or inherently or harmful, and anyone who engages in them ought reasonably to know this.

What are the implications of Bill C-13 for threat assessment in Canada? First, threat assessors will need to expand their definition of “violence” to include cyberbullying. This is true not only for those working in criminal justice settings, but also for those working in other settings. Anything considered an offence against persons in the criminal law—that is, one with the potential to cause physical or grave psychological harm to others—also will be deemed relevant in other areas of the law, such as employment, occupational health and safety, education, or mental health law. Second, threat assessors dealing with actual or alleged cyberbullying will need to pay careful attention to issues related to intent, consent, motivation, and consequences. Is there evidence indicating that the distribution of intimate images was accidental, careless or negligent, reckless, or deliberate? Is there evidence indicating that the perpetrator failed to inquire about or consider the victim’s expressed wishes about distribution of intimate images or capacity to consent to distribution; deliberately ignored the victim’s expressed wishes or capacity to consent; or even deliberately defied the victim’s expressed wishes? Is there evidence that perpetrator’s motivations were malicious, that is, intended to cause the victim distress, fear, humiliation, interpersonal harm, or reputational harm? Finally, is there evidence the cyberbullying did result in or could have resulted in serious distress, fear, humiliation, interpersonal harm, or reputational harm? Although according to the “black letter of the law” Bill C-13 requires prosecutors to prove only intent, all of these issues are relevant to assessment and management of risk. Finally, threat assessors will need to review and undertake research on the nature of cyberbullying, as well as risk factors associated with the perpetration of cyberbullying (especially serious and recidivistic cyberbullying). The findings of this research will be essential for establishing a sound evidence base for practice.

Bill C-13: An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act. 1st Reading. 41st Parl., 2nd sess., 62 Elizabeth II [Ottawa]: Library of Parliament, 2013. Parliament of Canada.

Canadian Bar Association (2014). Bill C-13, Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Bar Association.

Coordinating Committee of Senior Officials, Cybercrime Working Group (2013). Report to the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Justice and Public Safety: Cyberbullying and the Non-consensual Distribution of Intimate Images. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

Criminal Code of Canada, RSC 1985, c. C-46, as amended.

Industry Association News

Asia Pacific Association of Threat Assessment Professionals

Message from President Mr. Geoff Brown

As the President of the Asia Pacific Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (APATAP) I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the newest member of the ATAP family. APATAP started from humble beginnings in 2011 in Melbourne, Australia where a small determined group of professionals held the inaugural Threat Assessment Professionals Conference for the Asia Region at the Paul Mullen Building and Annexure of Melbourne University. This culminated in an AGM where a committee was elected and the Australasian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (AATAP) was born. For the past three years our Association has continued to grow which has enabled the hard working committee to host highly successful conferences in Melbourne in 2012 and 2013. These conferences attracted quality speakers including Dr. Stephen Hart from the CATAP, Mr. Totti Karpela from the EATAP, and Dr. David James from the UK. At our last conference held in November we also added a one day Master Class to the program which focused on cyber stalking. This Master Class was ably run by Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, Commander of Task Force Argos from the Queensland Police. Task Force Argos specializes in the detection of pedophile groups and Jon provide an in depth look into the mind of a pedophile and some insight into online grooming and exploitation of children.

At our 2013 AGM held after the conference the membership decided to change the name of our Association from AATAP to APATAP to better reflect our regional focus and I am pleased to announce that we now have members representing other countries in Asia including Thailand, Hong Kong, and China. APATAP is now a fully registered non-profit group in Australia and we are working with the other threat assessment associations around the globe who are supporting our efforts and providing guidance as we continue to grow and expand.

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of APATAP to invite you all to come and enjoy some Southern Hemisphere hospitality at our next Annual Conference to be held in Brisbane, Australia in November 2014. We will once again be hosting a one day Master Class, two days of expert speaking sessions, and a number of networking events. Details can be found on our dedicated website at

I look forward to welcoming you to Brisbane in November.

Association of European Threat Assessment Professionals

Conference recap from Committee Member Ms. Lieke Bootsma

Last April, the Association of European Threat Assessment Professional’s annual conference took place in Stockholm, Sweden. AETAP routinely rotates their host city, which always turns out to be fantastic. We were delighted to welcome more than 100 participants (our record) from all over the world with 18 countries from 4 continents represented. Last but not least, all our sister ‘TAPs’ attended. We were invited by the Mayor of Stockholm for a banquet inside the golden hall where all Nobel Prizes are awarded. There wasn’t a greater place to talk about our shared profession than ‘swimming’ between all the gold and salmon!

A great variety of speakers, from all over the globe, presented their most recent scientific findings and practical casework. This combination of research and practice will always be an important aim for our conferences. The different points of view from the presenters were seen as another benefit of this conference. Diverse professionals from corporate, law enforcement, academic and clinical settings were present. This resulted in a wide range of presentations, including interdisciplinary regional threat management, assessing explicit threats, and violence triage, as well as case studies about querulants, stalking, workplace violence and the role of investigative psychologists in Europe and South Africa.

Based on past conferences, we noticed the increasing need for a stronger focus on threat management strategies, ideas and programs across conferences. There has been a tendency to focus on the threat assessment process and it has been clear that professionals were confronted with difficult decisions when discussing case management. Therefore, our entire program in Stockholm centered around the issue of threat management. Dr. Stephen Hart did a great job to fill this gap. He provided very clear insight into advanced principles of threat assessment, including risk formulation and scenario planning, which are critical for informing management strategies.

Another new feature of this conference was the ‘case discussions’ with a panel of experts providing their professional ideas for case management. In addition, this conference introduced a poster session that allowed for additional sharing of information about updates in research and practice. For instance, one presenter from higher education was able to present her results with such enthusiasm that she was able to carry out additional research at the session by conducting a survey.

The conference was closed by an excellent expert day by Dr. Stephen Hart about Stalking Violence Risk Assessment and Management and the use of the Stalking Assessment and Management (SAM) Structured Professional Judgment Guideline. I think I can speak for the group of professionals who were able to attend this workshop and who were hanging onto every word that this was more than worth staying for.

On the whole, the AETAP board felt very proud of this great conference experience again. Nevertheless we are taking all the feedback for improvements very seriously and we aim to exceed expectations at our next conference in Lucerne, Switzerland, April 14-17, 2015!


Product Update

Upcoming Release of the HCR-20V3 Literature Review

Update by Dr. Laura Guy

Last year, Drs. Kevin Douglas, Stephen Hart, Christopher Webster, and Henrik Belfrage released Version 3 of the HCR-20, a structured professional judgment guideline for the assessment and management of risk for general violence. In Version 2, a brief review of the literature supporting the inclusion of each risk factor was included in the User Guide. For Version 3, literature reviews related to each item will be made available as a stand alone document at no charge on the HCR-20 website, allowing for widespread access by users and periodic updating as new research becomes available.

The HCR-20V3 literature review will be available by the end of 2014. Sign up for alerts about HCR-20 news at to be notified when the review is released.

Guy, L. S., Wilson, C. M., Douglas, K. S., Hart, S. D., Webster, C. D., & Belfrage, H. (in prep). HCR-20V3 risk factors: Empirical support and conceptual links to violence. HCR-20 Violence Risk Assessment White Paper Series, #3. Mental Health, Law, & Policy Institute, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.

Special Announcements

CATAP Special Interest Group for Post Secondary Institutions

Update by Dr. Kelly Watt

I am very pleased to announce that a Special Interest Group for Post Secondary Institutions has been formally established under CATAP. This is the first time a group of this kind has been established for higher education under any threat assessment association around the globe. This is largely in recognition of the amount of time, effort, and dedication that professionals from Post Secondary Institutions have invested in establishing teams to assess and manage risk for violence within their settings.

In response to a networking meeting for Post Secondary Institutions held at last year’s conference, the CATAP board has requested that I serve as chair of the special interest group and report directly to the CATAP President, Keith Hammond. I am extremely honored to do so and am committed to advocating on behalf of post secondary institutions across Canada. This year, the board has welcomed the Special Interest Group to 1) make suggestions related to topics and presenters for upcoming conferences, 2) plan a networking social specifically for post secondary institutions, and 3) organize an additional half day devoted to issues relevant to post secondary institutions. Over time, the board also plans to make significant changes to their website that will include creating a forum for asking questions and sharing information and by designating space to post relevant documents (e.g., sample reports, terms of references, information sharing agreements). If you are interested in joining the Special Interest Group, CATAP requires you to become members of the association and requires the group to limit our focus to issues related to threat assessment and management.

If you would like to become more involved in the Special Interest Group, by becoming a member of a small working committee, the CATAP board welcomes your applications! Responsibilities of committee members include 1) disseminating information about the Special Interest Group, 2) making suggestions related to topics and presenters for upcoming conferences, 3) planning and hosting the networking social, and 4) organizing an additional half day by inviting presenters and facilitating presentations. Your application should include your name, profession, institution, and background in violence risk assessment and management (e.g., knowledge, skills and experience), as well as your resumé or curriculum vitae. The CATAP board requests that we limit our working group to five or six people to start, and that the members be diverse with respect to profession, institution, and geography and have knowledge, skills and experience related to threat assessment and management.

The CATAP board welcomes you to submit your interest in being part of the working committee to Keith Hammond and myself by August 15, 2014 and reserves the right to select the representatives for the working committee from the applicants.


Upcoming Events

Association of Threat Assessment Professionals
Annual Conference

August 12-15, 2014
Anaheim, California
Learn more

The 3rd International Conference on Forensic Psychiatry: Treatment and Management of Psychosis

September 17-19, 2014
Bergen, Norway
Learn more

Northern Networking Events
HCR-20 Version 3 Workshops: Learn from the Authors

September 22-23, 2014
Manchester, England

September 25-26, 2014
Bristol, England

October 27-28, 2014
Leeds, England

October 30-31, 2014
London, England

January 19-20, 2015
Location TBD

January 22-23, 2015
Location TBD
Learn more

Canadian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals
Annual Conference

October 19-23, 2014
Whistler, British Columbia
Learn more

ProActive ReSolutions Inc. and St. Clair College
Foundational Violence Risk Assessment and Management Workshop for Higher Education

November 3-7, 2014
Chatham, Ontario

Asia Pacific Association of Threat Assessment Professionals
Annual Conference

November 26-28, 2014
Brisbane, Australia
Learn more

ProActive ReSolutions Inc.
HCR-20V3 Workshop for Assessing and Managing Risk for Violence with Adults

November 2014, Dates TBD
Sydney, Australia

ProActive ReSolutions Inc.
SAVRY Workshop for Assessing and Managing Risk for Violence with Adolescents

November 2014, Dates TBD
Sydney, Australia

ProActive ReSolutions Inc. and Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Foundational Violence Risk Assessment and Management Workshop for Higher Education

December 8-12, 2014
Langley, British Columbia
Learn more

ProActive ReSolutions Inc.
Advanced Threat Assessment and Risk Management Workshop

February 23-27, 2015
Vancouver, British Columbia

Association of European Threat Assessment Professionals
Annual Conference

April 14-17, 2015
Lucerne, Switzerland
Learn more

ProActive ReSolutions Inc. and Van der Meer Investigative Psychologists
Foundational Threat Assessment and Risk Management Workshop

April 20-24, 2015
The Hague, The Netherlands

ProActive ReSolutions Inc. and McMaster University
Advanced Violence Risk Assessment and Management Workshop for Higher Education

May 25-29, 2015
Hamilton, Ontario

International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services
Annual Conference

June 16-18, 2015
Manchester, England
Learn more



We welcome ideas for contributions from all readers. E-mail your suggestions to the editor kwatt@proactive­ or associate editor

Visit us at www.proactive-­

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Editorial Board

Dr. Henrik Belfrage
Mid Sweden University

Mr. Geoff Brown
Microsoft ASIA / President, APATAP

Dr. Laura S. Guy
ProActive ReSolutions Inc.

Mr. Keith Hammond
Vancouver Police Department/ President, CATAP

Dr. Stephen D. Hart
ProActive ReSolutions Inc.

Dr. David James
Fixated Threat Assessment Centre

Dr. P. Randy Kropp
ProActive ReSolutions Inc.

Dr. J. Reid Meloy
Forensis, Inc.

Dr. Kris Mohandie
Operational Consulting International, Inc.

Dr. John Monahan
University of Virginia

Dr. Mario Scalora
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Mr. Glenn Sheil
Ontario Provincial Police

Dr. Lorraine Sheridan
Curtain University

Mr. Chuck Tobin
AT-RISK International / President, ATAP

Mr. Bram van der Meer
Van der Meer Investigative / President, AETAP

Dr. Kelly A. Watt
ProActive ReSolutions Inc.

Dr. Patricia Zapf
John Jay College of Criminal Justice / CONCEPT