Domestic Homicide Review - Published 6 February 2019

Safer Sandwell Partnership logoThe Safer Sandwell Partnership Local Police and Crime Board published a domestic homicide review on Wednesday 6 February 2019.

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.

Alan Caddick, vice chair of the Safer Sandwell Partnership, said: "Firstly, our thoughts and condolences are with Miriam’s* family and friends.

“Miriam was a young woman who grew up in Birmingham and moved to live in Sandwell in 2007. In 2015, she was tragically murdered in her home by her former partner.

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

"This murder came as a shock to all professionals involved, with no obvious warning.

“The review has however highlighted some areas where organisations could have worked together more effectively to support Miriam and her family.

“In particular, this case has provided important learning on issues of coercive and controlling behaviour in relationships and how we identify and support families with complex needs, including vulnerable people with learning disabilities.

"The Partnership Board is ensuring all of the review's recommendations are fully implemented, helping to improve services and addressing issues highlighted in this review."

Since this case:

  • Partners have stepped up domestic abuse training for staff, reviewed policies and procedures and improved the way child protection cases are managed and audited. This has included developing a greater understanding and awareness of coercive and controlling behaviour.
  • GP surgeries have new systems and training in place to help them identify domestic abuse victims and promote effective support for victims and their families.
  • Health and abortion services in Sandwell have strengthened safeguarding arrangements for children and vulnerable adults – this will ensure children accessing abortion services are assessed for child sexual exploitation.

Since 2014, the number of police officers working in West Midlands Police’s public protection unit has doubled, meaning a tenth of all officers in the force now work as part of the unit.

In addition, Local Safeguarding Children Boards across the West Midlands are working to ensure that providers of abortion services in their areas are aware of local safeguarding procedures and are making appropriate referrals.

Alan Caddick added: "We continue to work together through the Safer Sandwell Partnership and across the West Midlands to do everything we can to try to prevent these types of tragedies occurring.

"We thank everyone who has contributed to this review and helped to improve our ongoing work to protect and support victims and their families.”

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I have ensured work has taken place to raise awareness of coercive control with professionals and the public, to help protect people.

“In addition, the number of people working in West Midlands Police’s Public Protection Unit has been increased so the force are better prepared to respond to domestic abuse.

“This was a tragic case and it is right that public agencies have changed their approaches to protect victims. My Victims’ Commission will continue to scrutinise to ensure victims get the support and protection they deserve.”

You can read the executive summaryoverview report and key learning points arising from this review.

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 webpages.

*Pseudonyms are used in these reports in line with Home Office guidance for the publication of domestic homicide reviews.