Refuge calls for end to “culture of inaction” as findings show police and social services failed murdered teenager Georgia Williams

Today (14 October), a discretionary serious case review has found that murdered teenager Georgia Williams was failed by the police and social services. Her killer, Jamie Reynolds, was known to police and had previously tried to strangle a girl in 2008, before going on to hang 17-year-old Georgia in Telford in 2013. In wake of these findings, national domestic violence charity Refuge calls for an end to the “culture of inaction” that is failing to protect so many women from violence.

 

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, says:
“My thoughts go out to the family of Georgia Williams at this incredibly difficult time. Yet again, a young woman has been catastrophically failed by the very agencies designed to protect her. How many more women have to be murdered by men before police and other state agencies take effective action? Why, after so many damning reviews and reports, are we still witnessing such an appalling response?

“In so many ways, Georgia’s case mirrors many domestic violence homicide cases. Agencies failed to join up the dots; police failed to collect evidence; the young woman at risk was not given information which could have better equipped her to keep herself safe. Instead, Reynolds – someone who had previously tried to attack two other women – was able to lure Georgia to his home to murder her.

“Chief Constable David Shaw, of West Mercia Police, says that the agencies “should have done better” to protect Georgia. When will we see these empty words transformed into actions? Two women a week lose their lives at the hands of a current or former partner – and many of these women are let down in their time of need.

“To put an end to this culture of inaction, Refuge is currently campaigning to open a public inquiry into the response of the police and other state agencies to victims of domestic violence. Please add your voice to our campaign by signing our petition here.”