The police should be held accountable for failing DV and stalking victims

The case of Laura Stuart highlights yet another woefully inadequate police response to a female victim of domestic abuse, coercive control and stalking.

Her relationship with Jason Cooper was dominated by his coercively controlling behaviour, for example making her photograph her time sheets at work so he knew exactly where she was and what time she was working, throwing plates of food at the wall after she had cooked for him and isolating her from friends.

When Laura separated from Cooper the domestic abuse predictably turned to stalking with Cooper texting her constantly (421 times in one day), standing outside in the street waiting for her and making threats to kill her.

There were 18 reports to the police yet no action was taken by the police and tragically Laura joined the long static statistic of 2 women a week being murdered by a partner or ex-partner.

The police pushed the responsibility back to her asking if she wanted to press charges rather than following the proper practice and proactively charging him.

Laura was not an expert in her own risk and the DASH risk assessment clearly was not carried out by the police – another failure.

The lack of police action often emboldens perpetrators and gives them confidence to escalate their behaviour often to the ultimate act of control – murder.

I am sick to the back teeth of hearing the police roll out their stock phrase – “lessons will be learned”.

Except they never are.

We have reached a stage where we need to do something different on behalf of victims and hold those who fail them to account.

The police should face manslaughter charges in relation to their failures – only this will change the appalling culture of misogyny and automatic disbelief and minimisation shown to female victims of domestic abuse and stalking.

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  1. It’s long past time that the police accepted domestic homicide reviews are nothing more than a tick box exercise. There’s no difference in the domestic homicide stats in the seven (?) years since they began. Most police either seem not to know the recent coercive control law allows prosecution without a scared, vulnerable victim’s cooperation, or are too reticent to pursue a prosecution on those terms. Which defeats the purpose!


  2. I have just been told by a police investigator that my complaint against my ex hairdresser, who has been threatening me , yelling abuse and following me to my home , will not be followed up .he says there is no independent evidence of the reports I have made He told me that I am also an accused with charges against me, as my stalker claims I have been harassing him by videoing him ( I did this on four occasions as partially self defence and as evidence . He was walking in my street and two other police had told me ( incorrectly) he was not allowed to, so I thought they would want the evidence ). The only suggestion he had was Community Mediation . I have rejected this as I Know I am telling the truth and so does the perpetrator and I am not prepared to have to hear that we should both avoid each other and desist as I have done Nothing wrong! Now I have to hope that he will not escalate his harassment and act out his threatsas I have no means of defence. I am 70 years old. I told the policeman that I had never broken the law and this man is Known for threats and assaults. His reply was that I could have a criminal record, for all he knew! He also said he could seize my computer and phone to check if I had done any more videos . I am in despair


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