Refuge responds to damning IPCC report on Greater Manchester Police’s serious failings in domestic homicide case

Today, the IPCC has announced that domestic homicide victim Katie Cullen, who was murdered by her ex-partner Iman Saeed Ghaefelipour in 2009, was “badly let down” by Greater Manchester Police (GMP).


Ms Cullen, who was stabbed 130 times by Ghaefelipour, had reported prior to the attack that he had threatened to kill her, but was not warned about his previous contact with the police. Ghaefelipour had been reported in late 2007 and early 2008 for harassing another ex-girlfriend. The IPCC concluded that the “necessary connection” was not made between those allegations and his behaviour towards Ms Cullen, and described a “catalogue of inaction and missed opportunities” which occurred in the handling of the case.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge says:

Sandra Horley CORRECT HEADSHOT 2014“My thoughts go out to the family of Katie Cullen at this painful time. Greater Manchester Police failed this young woman on a shocking scale – just as they have failed many other victims of domestic violence. How many more murders must there be before this police force gets its act together? Where is the leadership? What will it take for Greater Manchester Police to do its job and protect vulnerable women and children?

The IPCC has found evidence of serious failings in the police response to Katie, including a “catalogue of inaction” and a number of “missed opportunities” to protect her. On one occasion after Katie reported that her ex had threatened to kill her, follow up action from the police was delayed an astonishing 26 times. The police also withheld crucial information about her ex-partner from Katie, which might have better enabled her to understand the danger he posed to her.

This report is all the more disturbing given that the same police force has been criticised on a number of other occasions for failing to protect other victims of domestic violence. Clare Wood, Katie Summers and Sabina Akhtar were all let down by Greater Manchester Police in recent years. Earlier this year Greater Manchester Police was also singled out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) as being one of the country’s worst performing police forces in terms of its response to victims of domestic violence.

But the awful truth is that Greater Manchester Police is not alone. All across the country, police forces – and other state agencies – are failing women and children. This is a national problem. That’s why Refuge is calling on the Government to open a public inquiry into the response of the police and other state agencies to victims of domestic violence. We need to put an end to this culture of inaction. Please add your voice to our campaign by signing our petition here.”

To read the IPCC report about the case, click here.