Refuge responds to IPCC report into the murder of Hollie Gazzard in Gloucester

Today’s (30 April 15) Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report into the murder of Hollie Gazzard found that the domestic abuse policies, training and systems which Gloucestershire Constabulary had in place at the time hindered a comprehensive response.

 
Hollie Gazzard was murdered by her former partner, Asher Maslin, at her place of work in Gloucester, on 18 February 2014.

Refuge highlights that this case is far from isolated, and renews its call for a public inquiry into police and state response to domestic violence.

To read the full report, click here.

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

Sandra Horley CORRECT HEADSHOT 2014“The death of Hollie Gazzard is deeply tragic. My thoughts go out to her family at this incredibly difficult time.

“An IPCC investigation has found that the domestic abuse policies, training and systems which Gloucestershire Constabulary had in place at the time hindered a comprehensive response. This is not good enough. Hollie had told the police that she had separated from Maslin (a known domestic violence perpetrator); he had threatened to beat her up, throw acid in her face, and to kill himself, was constantly ringing and texting her and had threatened to destroy her life.

“The call handler said she had not received specific training on domestic violence, stalking and harassment. This is completely unacceptable. Police across the country receive a domestic violence call every 30 seconds. How can it be that call handlers are still not being trained in this vital area of public protection? Domestic violence is core police business. With the right training, the call handler should have realised that Hollie could be at high risk of homicide or serious harm.

“Yet again poor police training and understanding of domestic violence has hindered their ability to respond to a young woman in urgent need of help. Though we are pleased to see that changes have now been made to Gloucestershire Constabulary’s training and policies around domestic abuse, the truth is that this is not an isolated case.

“Two women are killed by a current or former partner every single week. Across England and Wales, police forces – and other state agencies – are failing women and children on a catastrophic level. This is a national disgrace. 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 your help to deliver change. Sign our petition here.”