Domestic Homicide Review Case 23 – Feedback Letter

Becky McMurray
Review Co-ordinator –
Domestic Homicide and Interpersonal Violence Communities Team,
Devon County Council County Hall,
Topsham Road,
Exeter,
Devon
EX2 4QD

Dear Becky,

Thank you for submitting the Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) report (Neil) for Devon Community Safety Partnership (CSP) to the Home Office Quality Assurance (QA) Panel. The report was considered at the QA Panel meeting on 6th September 2023. I apologise for the delay in responding to you.

The QA Panel felt there was good engagement with the victim’s family evident throughout the report and although there was no specific tribute included in the executive summary or overview report by the victim’s family, there was a sense of who Neil was throughout the report.

The QA Panel felt that there are some aspects of the report which may benefit from further revision, but the Home Office is content that on completion of these changes, the DHR may be published.

Areas for final development:

  1. The Panel felt that although there is reference to unconscious bias with regards to the victim being male, this is not explored fully enough in analysing individual agency responses, or in any system-wide recommendation.
  2. Coercive control and financial abuse are identified and discussed in the report, but not sufficiently explored. A clear definition within the report of coercive control would be helpful for clarity and to further learning.
  3. Exploration of the impact of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions which took place prior to the homicide would be helpful and would feed into learning on a national level.
  4. The equality and diversity section is underdeveloped and key areas linked to protective characteristics and impact are not analysed within the report. The QA panel felt:
    • Further exploration is needed of the impact of disability, chronic pain and long-term health conditions.
    • Age should also be considered within this section. Particularly with relevance to the victim’s choice to not have a mobile phone even once they were available.
  5. There are some typos/details that need to be added in:
    • Paragraph 7 states that the ‘review began in April 2021 and was concluded on (date)’ – this date needs to be included.
    • The panel members agencies and roles are listed in Table 1 but not their names as is required by the Statutory Guidance (Section 4/para30).
    • Paragraph 2 and paragraph 143 – the date of death is given compromising anonymity and needs to be removed.

Once completed the Home Office would be grateful if you could provide us with a digital copy of the revised final version of the report with all finalised attachments and appendices and the weblink to the site where the report will be published. Please ensure this letter is published alongside the report.

Please send the digital copy and weblink to DHREnquiries@homeoffice.gov.uk. This is for our own records for future analysis to go towards highlighting best practice and to inform public policy.

The DHR report including the executive summary and action plan should be converted to a PDF document and be smaller than 20 MB in size; this final Home Office QA Panel feedback letter should be attached to the end of the report as an annex; and the DHR Action Plan should be added to the report as an annex. This should include all implementation updates and note that the action plan is a live document and subject to change as outcomes are delivered.

Please also send a digital copy to the Domestic Abuse Commissioner at DHR@domesticabusecommissioner.independent.gov.uk

On behalf of the QA Panel, I would like to thank you, the report chair and author, and other colleagues for the considerable work that you have put into this review.

Yours sincerely,

Lynne Abrams
Chair of the Home Office DHR Quality Assurance Panel