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Domestic Homicide Review - Published 21 March 2018

Safer Sandwell Partnership logoThe Safer Sandwell Partnership Local Police and Crime Board published a domestic homicide review on 21 March 2018.

The Home Office asks us to publish independent reviews into deaths of adults which have resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by a relation, partner or member of the same household.

Chief Superintendent Richard Baker, chair of the Safer Sandwell Partnership, said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with the family of a Lena*, a Polish woman who was living in Sandwell when she was murdered at home in an unprovoked attack by her partner in 2015.

"We commissioned an independent review into this case, in line with Home Office guidance. This is to establish what lessons could be learned regarding how local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims.

“The review findings are clear that partnership organisations could not have predicted or prevented this tragedy, and there was no disclosed history of previous abuse by the perpetrator.

“The review did however indicate some missed opportunities where professionals could potentially have picked up issues or gleaned information about the family.

"The Partnership Board has followed up the review's learning points to improve services. These include having better systems in place for following up missed appointments and assessing how a person’s alcohol misuse can impact on the wellbeing of wider family members.

“The review’s recommendations – which focus on the importance of lead professionals in safeguarding, working with Polish and other Eastern European communities and use of interpreters – have been implemented. 

“We continue to strengthen our links with Polish and other Eastern European families in Sandwell, to make sure everyone in our community knows how to access advice and support about alcohol misuse and domestic abuse and has confidence in doing so.

“Training for frontline staff across agencies has also been carried out to improve safeguarding work across the partnership.

"We thank everyone who has contributed to this review and helped improve ways of working following this tragic case.”

You can read a summary of the review and key learning points from the case.

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and need help, call Black Country Women's Aid 0121 552 6448 or the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247. In an emergency always call 999.

For more domestic abuse services, visit our domestic abuse webpage.

*Lena is a pseudonym used following Home Office advice