Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) were established on a statutory basis under section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 and came into force on 13 April 2011.
Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) are responsible for undertaking DHRs where the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by -
- a relative
- a household member
- someone he or she has been in an intimate relationship with
A review panel, led by an independent chair and consisting of representatives from statutory and voluntary agencies is commissioned to undertake the DHR. The panel reviews each agency's involvement in the case and makes recommendations to improve responses in the future. The panel also consider information from the victim's -
- work colleagues
DHRs are not enquiries into how someone died or who is to blame or whether they form part of a disciplinary process. They do not replace, but are in addition to, an inquest and any other form of enquiry into a homicide.
The purpose of DHRs is to consider the circumstances that led to the death and to identify where responses to the situation could be improved in the future. Lessons learned from the reviews help agencies to improve their response to domestic abuse and to work better together to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.
The Home Office has published statutory guidance on how to complete DHRs.
The Home Office has also published a report on common themes identified as lessons to be learned from DHRs.
Hull Community Safety Partnership has published the Overview and Executive Report for domestic homicide reviews conducted.
Adult A review
Comments from Tracy Harsley, City Manager at Hull City Council and Chair of Hull Community Partnership
'Following the tragic death of adult A on 1 February 2015, the Hull Community Safety Partnership commissioned a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) reviewing the circumstances surrounding this death.
The review was undertaken to explore the role of the agencies involved with adult A and adult B, with a view to learning lessons from the case and to reflect on practice where needed in order to improve future responses to domestic abuse in the city. It is carried out in accordance with the Home Office Guidance December 2016 and section 9 (3) of the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004.
In the time since the review commenced many of the actions identified in the report have been progressed by individual agencies.
In line with the Home Office guidance (December 2016), the decision has been made locally by the Hull Community Safety Partnership to publish the Domestic Homicide Review Executive Summary and Overview Report. This report has been authorised for publication by the Home Office Quality Assurance (QA) Panel.
Sincere condolences are extended to the victim’s family who have been notified of the review and its findings.
The Community Safety Partnership will now work with partner agencies to ensure individual agency recommendations are thoroughly embedded and that service improvements are implemented and maintained to ensure agency responses are able to meet the diverse needs of all victims accessing support. Early identification and intervention is central to this to ensure victims are provided with the right support, at the right time, and as early as possible.'
Comments from Chief Superintendent Chris Wilson, Deputy Chair
'We take our responsibilities to explore organisational learning as part of its commitment to the partnership very seriously. The investigation we undertook in relation to the tragic murder of Adult A, and the subsequent conviction of her murderer was both thorough and detailed. We also ensured that the family of Adult A were as informed and engaged as possible during this most difficult period. Any loss of life is tragic, but when that is as a result of domestic abuse, it saddens us even more, and the review has identified areas for development for every agency in order to ensure that victims can be better protected, even if the finding of the panel was that this tragic murder was not preventable.
We have worked tirelessly with our partners to make improvements to the way in which we manage cases of domestic abuse, and have made significant progress, however we will not be complacent and will strive to continue to make continuous improvements to support victims and bring offenders to justice.'