Labour warns women’s domestic abuse calls to police ‘being ignored’

Women are being ignored by the police “today and every day” when they call to report domestic abuse, Labour has warned.

Shadow Home Office minister Jess Phillips called on the Government to commit that every single domestic abuse incident will receive a police response.

Asking an urgent question in the Commons following the end of an inquest about the murder of two women in Solihull in 2018, Ms Phillips said: “Since this case in 2018, far from improving, domestic abuse incidents have risen and prosecutions have fallen.

“This is not merely a historic case. Today and every day women will call the police and no-one will come.”

She asked: “As her Government has done with burglary, will the Government commit that every single domestic abuse incident will receive a police response? What will she do to monitor that?

“Can I ask the minister why this man was not being properly monitored or managed in the community, as is the case in thousands of other violent perpetrators? We are not managing and monitoring even the worst repeat offenders of this crime currently. Why not?”

Responding, Home Office minister Sarah Dines said tackling domestic abuse is an “absolute priority” for the Government.

She said: “This case is tragic but we have to work together to try and make sure we have as few similar cases as possible.

“I don’t want to see a single case continuing. One more death is one death too many.”

She added: “Tackling perpetrators of domestic abuse is an absolute priority for this Government and for me.

“That is why in the tackling abuse plan we set out a strategy for pursuing those who have caused these harms – more knowledge, more intelligence and more training.

“With this plan, we have committed £75 million for work with perpetrators, including continuing to build on our previous investment for perpetrator interventions.”

International Womens Day Debate
Labour’s Jess Phillips reading out the names women killed in the UK where a man has been convicted or charged as the primary perpetrator, during the International Women’s Day Debate in the House of Commons (Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament/PA)

Conservative Julian Knight (Solihull) said: “When I visited in the aftermath of the murders, the family raised concerns with me personally about policing resources in Solihull … we owe it to all victims of crime that Solihull gets its fair share.”

Lid Dem Christine Jardine (Edinburgh West) spoke of the need for “better policing” and called on the minister to consider “mandatory training”.

Five officers have been served with “management action” by the police watchdog over missed opportunities to prevent the deaths of a mother and daughter in the West Midlands.

The Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said West Midlands Police (WMP) let chances to “take positive action” slip for Khaola Saleem, 49, and her daughter Raneem Oudeh, 22, in the months before they were stabbed to death by Ms Oudeh’s ex-partner on August 27 2018.

Following the conclusion of a three-week inquest into their deaths on Friday, the watchdog said they had served nine officers with misconduct notices and found a case to answer for five, who all received management action.

The other four were found to have no case to answer although it was agreed one should receive additional training.

Janbaz Tarin, who was 21 at the time of the attack on Northdown Road, Solihull, was jailed for life in December 2018 with a minimum term of 32 years.