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IPCC investigation into the shooting of a Newport woman finds issues with police handling of her reports of domestic abuse

November 28, 2012, 10:12 am

The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into the interactions Gwent Police had with Male Y and Woman L before he shot and wounded her on 19 August 2011 in Newport found there were issues with the way the force dealt with her reports of domestic abuse.

At 2.21pm on 19 August a member of the public called 999 to report that Woman L had been shot at a hairdressing salon on Malpas Road, Newport. The offender was immediately identified as Male Y, the woman’s estranged husband. Male Y had fled the scene and following a police search found his body in a wooded area off Brickyard Lane, Newport, at around 9pm that evening.

At the time of the shooting Male Y was bailed by the court on 12 August 2011 after he had been charged with assaulting Woman L on 9 July. Gwent Police had opposed the bailing of Male Y.

The IPCC has upheld four complaints out of 13 made and has made a number of recommendations to the force about call handling and dealing with domestic abuse cases.

Following evidence found during the IPCC investigation Gwent Police decided that two police constables and one sergeant should be subject to management action, and a police constable to be subject to management advice. The force has also accepted all of the IPCC recommendations and suggestions for improvements.

A police sergeant retired during the IPCC investigation, although there was sufficient evidence gathered for a case to answer for him.

IPCC Commissioner for Wales Tom Davies said: “This has been a very difficult case for all concerned and I hope that the family and friends of all those involved find some measure of peace.

“Gwent Police’s handling of domestic abuse had been in the public spotlight since the Joanna Michael case and the All-Wales domestic abuse conference held in June 2011.

“Despite the high awareness and public profile of the positive measures the force had put in place, our investigation into how this woman’s concerns were dealt with highlighted issues with call handling, record-keeping and awareness of force policy and procedures.

“I hope that appropriate lessons have been learned and we have shared the learning from our investigation with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Serious Case Review and Attempted Domestic Homicide Review into how all agencies acted within this case.”

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