Domestic Homicide Reviews
The Herefordshire Community Safety Partnership has a legal duty to undertake a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) when a person (over 16) is believed to have been murdered either by an intimate partner or a member of their household. The criteria are set out in the Home Office Domestic Homicide Review Guidance 2016.
Published DHR’s can be accessed on the Herefordshire Council website. Where some DHR’s have not been published, this is because the HCSP have decided that publishing the report will cause harm or trauma.
What is a Domestic Homicide Review?
Under section 9(1) of the 2004 Act, domestic homicide review is 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 to whom he was related or with whom he was or had been in an intimate personal relationship, or
- a member of the same household as himself,
- held with a view to identifying the lessons to be learnt from the death.
Where the definition set out in this paragraph has been met, then a Domestic Homicide Review should be undertaken.
The purpose of a DHR 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 these lessons to service responses including changes to inform national and local policies and procedures as appropriate;
- prevent domestic violence and homicide and improve service responses for all domestic violence and abuse victims and their children by developing a co-ordinated multi-agency approach to ensure that domestic abuse is identified and responded to effectively at the earliest opportunity;
- contribute to a better understanding of the nature of domestic violence and abuse; and
- highlight good practice.
It is, however, important to note that reviews should not simply examine the conduct of professionals and agencies. Reviews should illuminate the past to make the future safer and it follows therefore that reviews should be professionally curious, find the trail of abuse and identify which agencies had contact with the victim, perpetrator or family and which agencies were in contact with each other. From this position, appropriate solutions can be recommended to help recognise abuse and either signpost victims to suitable support or design safe interventions.
More information about Domestic Homicide Reviews can be found on the UK Government website.