Today (Thursday 18 November) sees the publication of a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) into the force’s response to incidents involving stalking victim Justene Reece.
Justene tragically took her own life following a sustained campaign of harassment by her ex-partner, Nicholas Allen, who was jailed for ten years in June 2017 after admitting manslaughter, engaging in coercive or controlling behaviour and stalking.
The report recommends that all senior officers and staff, with the responsibility for determining Right to Review applications, are reminded of the importance of independence and transparency. It also recommends that they consider the impact on this of any previous involvement with the individuals or case concerned when deciding who should undertake the review.
Deputy Chief Constable Justin Bibby said:
“Our thoughts remain with Justene Reece’s family and friends at this time.
“As a force, we could have done more to prevent the tragic death of Justene and this is evident through the recommendations within the Domestic Homicide Review (DHR).
“Following the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into Justene’s death, which was published in 2019, seven officers and a member of police staff have received non-disciplinary action – management action by way of words of advice – for not complying with force policy/procedures.
“We welcome the scrutiny provided by the DHR and IOPC and since Justene’s death, we have made improvements to our safeguarding and investigative approach to stalking.
“This includes improving our training programmes on stalking for all front-line police officers and staff, introducing new processes to further safeguard victims and working more closely with partners to manage complex cases.
“Safeguarding victims of stalking and other vulnerable people is a key priority for Staffordshire Police and we are constantly reviewing our approach to understanding and recognising vulnerability to ensure we are consistently providing a good service to the public.”