Nineteen West Midlands Police officers and staff face misconduct sanctions after their failure to deal properly with a woman suffering domestic violence in the months leading up to her death.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) looked into the force’s contact with Jacqueline Oakes , who was killed by Marcus Musgrove after months of abuse. Musgrove was convicted in July 2014 of the murder of 51-year-old Jacqueline at her home in Edgbaston.
The investigation looked at 17 separate reports about Musgrove made to police between April 2103 and January 2014.
The report recommends 19 officers and staff be dealt with through the force’s misconduct process; it has been agreed with the IPCC that two police officers will appear before misconduct meetings, and a further 17 officers and staff will be given management action. The sanctions will reflect the individual contact of those involved.
The IPCC also found there was a case to answer for gross misconduct for one police officer, now retired.
No misconduct was identified for a further 20 officers and staff whose contacts with Ms Oakes were also investigated.
Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe said: “Our thoughts and condolences remain with the family of Jacqueline Oakes following her tragic death in January 2014. It is our duty and responsibility to ensure that we do everything we can to learn from the tragedy and to use that learning to improve how we protect people at risk of abuse.
“We acknowledge that some of our officers and staff failed in their duty to complete certain checks, risk assessments and, on occasion, follow the force’s domestic abuse policy and for this we sincerely apologise to the family of Jacqueline Oakes .
“I would like to reassure people that since the death of Ms Oakes , the force has seen significant changes in the way it responds to reports of domestic abuse, with the number of officers working in the Public Protection Unit having doubled, meaning a tenth of all police officers in the force now work as part of the unit.
“Since 2014, specialist domestic abuse investigation teams have been created to work alongside a protection team supporting those most at risk. These staff receive enhanced domestic abuse training.
“All frontline officers and staff are given specialist training in dealing with domestic abuse calls, with specialist training given in recognising signs of exploitation.
“We have also changed our systems to more effectively recognise a pattern or history of abuse.”