Community safety

Domestic Homicide Review

When someone has been killed as a result of domestic abuse (domestic homicide) a review into the help and support they may have received from the council, Police and other agencies should be carried out.

Professionals involved in the case must review what happened so that they can identify what may need to be changed to reduce the risk of it happening again in the future.

Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) were established on a statutory basis under Section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Acts 2004 and came into force in April 2011.  A DHR is a review of the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by  -

  1.  - a person to whom he/she was related or with whom he/she was or had been in an intimate relationship; or
  1. -  a member of the same household as himself/herself

The Home Office has published guidance on when a domestic homicide review needs to be carried out and how to do this. 

Domestic homicide reviews are not enquiries into how the victim died or into who is responsible. The purpose of a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) is to understand where there are lessons to be learned and make recommendations to prevent future homicides.

Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHR) are carried out at the request of the Chair of One Watford, the Local Strategic Partnership, which incorporates the borough’s Community Safety Partnership, based on advice provided by the Home Office and following consultation with the Community Safety Partnership. If it is decided to carry out a DHR an independent chair will be appointed who will carry out the investigation, with any support needed provided by the council. The final report will be provided to the Home Office and where appropriate any findings and recommendations will be published.

Family members, friends and colleagues of the victim are important to the DHR process. The independent chair will aim to make contact with friends and family, to enable them to inform the review and build a complete view of the circumstances leading up to the homicide. 

The Home Office are informed of any decision to carry out or to not carry out a DHR and the secretary of State can direct that a DHR is carried out if they feel it is appropriate or necessary.

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