• Essex Police – IPCC find “Failures” re Domestic Violence

    August 22, 2012

    Domestic Violence Advice

    The Independenant Police Complaints Commission has today issued their report following their investigation into a Domestic Violence Case in Essex which resulted in a “Double Murder” Investigation.

    The Case in which the IPCC are refering to is the murder of Christine Chambers and her daughter Shania who were shot by David Oakes on 06th June 2011. Oakes was Chambers ex partner and the father of Shania.

    Although it has been highlighted by Christine’s father in news reports that the Murder Investigation Team were supportive and did a good job; he and the report have highlighted more could have been done in the run up to the double murder in the previous incidents of domestic violence reported to Essex Police.

    Whilst Essex Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Maurice Mason has in news reports today stated the force has introduced 76 new posts in the Public Protection Team (Which oversee’s Vulnerable People including Domestic Violence), and also introduced a dedicated Domestic Abuse Intelligence Team; all which are positive steps, the IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne in the report has made recommendations such as a Process of Sharing Information between forces and agencies such as Social Services, Courts, Solicitors (In particular Child Custody Proceedings). Others failures highlighted were:

    Lack of Adequate Training
    Insufficient Resources allocated to Domestic Violence Cases
    Poor Oversight
    Failure of Police Systems

    So why apart from the obvious as in its a Domestic Violence Issue am I raising it here?

    From 1990 – 2006 I was a Police Officer within Essex Police; spending my first five years at Braintree where the double murder happened, I transferred to Harlow Division in 1995; where I became heavily involved in dealing with Domestic Violence; first as an DV `Expert` on the response shift, and then moving into the role of Domestic Violence Officer. I spent the majority of my career as the Domestic Violence Officer, and was a driving force within Essex Police in putting Domestic Violence on the `map` or `radar`. I was a Chair of a forward thinking Domestic Violence Forum pushing forward key projects and initiative to help all involved in Domestic Violence.  As the Domestic Violence Officer I implemented many key strategies which were implemented forcewide, and held groundbreaking conferences to raise awareness of domestic violence. I compiled and delivered training for The Essex Magistrates Association which was provided for all Essex Magistrates which was thought so useful Domestic Violence training is delivered on a rolling programme for all Magistrates, I also delivered domestic violence training for many other key agencies on a local and Essex wide basis.

    I was recognised by the then Chief Constable David Stevens to be a driving force and instrumental in work around Domestic Violence forming DV monitoring groups, organising publicity launches, raising the profile of Essex Police, leading to a significant increase in reported incidents, and introducing successful repeat victim/offender strategies, in particular reference was made to the fact that my professionalism, and my dedication, not only brought credit to myself but to Essex Police. I was then sent on his behalf and included in key meetings and training on domestic violence on a countywide and national basis..

    I left Essex Police in 2006, and have continued working in the field of Domestic Violence, within a forum environment meeting the government targets on domestic violence, as a manager of a domestic violence perpetrator programme, but have continued to broaden my practioner and strategic knowledge and experiece within domestic violence. I have added to this substantial academic experience and knowledge in this field and also with relationships, continuing to develop and deliver tailor made training around domestic violence for professionals, and providing consultancy.

    I continue to also provide `hands on` work through my therapy private practice: Selyor Therapy Centre which specifically involves domestic violence counselling, and relationship counselling.

    This wide ranging and unique experience and knowledge has meant my comments have been sought on both a national and international level on domestic violence cases highlighted in the press.

    With all my experience and knowledge both previously internally and externally to Essex Police it saddens me to hear of their failings, and feel that they have taken a step backwards, it is also that another incident has occured in which a fatalily has happened. Despite improvements sadly it wont be the last incident that is a serious one or indeed a fatality, and that applies to any force or agency that has dealings with the area of domestic violence.

    For any agency or Police Force (In particular Essex Police) that would like consultancy or training on Domestic Violence please contact me through either of my websites.

    Also for victims/survivors of domestic violence, or family members trying to move forward with their lives after a domestic violence experience then again contact with me can be made through the below websites.

    www.tinaroyles.com   or  www.selyortherapycentre.com

    For the stories in the National Newspapers refering to the above case in Essex please see the below links:

    http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/police-apology-over-double-murder

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/aug/22/police-failed-woman-david-oakes-ipcc?newsfeed=true

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-19341246

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9492030/David-Oakes-murders-IPCC-finds-systematic-police-failings.html

    http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2012-08-22/essex-police-significant-action-taken-over-domestic-violence/

    About Tina Royles

    Connet with me: Google+ Tina Royles is the UKs leading expert in domestic violence offering Domestic Violence Counselling, Relationship Counselling and Anger as well as Stress Management Counselling. She is one of the UK’s most qualified and experienced domestic violence experts providing consultancy and advice to those who have suffered domestic violence, are currently in violent relationships or to friends and family of those affected. Tina provides the materials and tools to manage relationship difficulties and domestic violence through awareness and education and is regularly called upon by the national and local press to provide expert comments on high profile cases. Tina Royles

    View all posts by Tina Royles

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