Domestic homicide review
The Community Safety Partnership has responsibility for domestic homicide reviews within Barking and Dagenham. Published reviews appear at the bottom of this page.
Definition and purpose of a domestic homicide review
Domestic homicide reviews were established on a statutory basis under Section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004).
Domestic homicide reviews are carried out to ensure that lessons are learnt when a person has been killed as a result of domestic violence. The Home Office multi-agency statutory guidance defines a domestic homicide review (DHR) as a review of the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over, has or appears to have resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by:
- a person whom he/she was related or had been in an intimate personal relationship; or
- a member of the same household.
The purpose of a domestic homicide review is to:
- establish what lessons are to be learned from the domestic homicide regarding the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims
- identify clearly what those lessons are both within and between agencies, how and within what timescales they will be acted on, and what is expected to change as a result
- apply those lessons to service responses, including changes to policies and procedures as appropriate
- prevent domestic violence homicide and improve service responses for all domestic violence victims and their children through improved intra- and inter-agency working
A domestic homicide review will not:
- be an inquiry into how the victim died or into who is culpable; that is a matter for coroners and criminal courts respectively to determine as appropriate
- specifically be part of any disciplinary enquiry or process. Where information emerges in the course of a DHR indicating that disciplinary action should be initiated, the established agency disciplinary procedures should be undertaken separately to the DHR process. Alternatively, some DHRs maybe conducted concurrently with (but separate to) disciplinary action
If a domestic homicide takes place in Barking and Dagenham, the police will immediately inform the chair of the Community Safety Partnership. The Community Safety Partnership will decide if a DHR is appropriate and, if so, appoint an independent chair and report writer. Confirmation of a decision to review, as well as a decision not to review, a homicide will be sent in writing to the Home Office in line with Home Office guidance.
In line with section 9(2) of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004), the Secretary of State may in a particular homicide direct a specified person or body to establish, or to participate in, a DHR. Such a direction is likely to be made where a person or body has declined involvement in a DHR.
Quality assurance for completed DHRs rests with an expert group made up of statutory and voluntary agencies and managed by the Home Office. All completed overview reports and supporting documents are sent to the Home Office and are assessed against the Home Office guidance. Further information about this group can be found on the Home Office website.