Two police officers have been found guilty of gross misconduct following an investigation into contact the officers had with a Watford woman prior to her being stabbed.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigated the actions of PC Dominic Van Der Linden and PC Mark Coleman, This followed a report made by a woman in August 2021 that her ex-husband had breached a non-molestation order after she saw him on doorbell footage standing outside her home.
The man had been convicted of domestic abuse offences against the woman in 2020.
The woman attended Watford Police Station in August 2021, showing the two police officers doorbell footage of her ex-husband in breach of the non-molestation order.
The officers spoke to the man on the phone and reminded him of the conditions of the non-molestation order, but the man was not arrested and no further action was taken against him.
The following month, the woman suffered serious injuries as her ex-husband once again returned, this time stabbing her several times.
PCs Coleman and Van Der Linden faced a gross misconduct hearing for failing to obtain evidence of the offence, accurately record information from the victim or complete an appropriate risk assessment with the woman, and failing to safeguard the victim.
After the officers were found guilty on November 6, IOPC regional director Charmaine Arbouin said: “It’s possible the attack could have been avoided if the officers had properly investigated the breach and carried out an appropriate risk assessment with the woman. Failing to adequately investigate domestic abuse can have catastrophic consequences for victims and it’s vital that reports made to police are investigated thoroughly.”