LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The British government announced on Friday a major review of the way the police respond to allegations of domestic violence following several high-profile murders of women by their former partners.
Experts from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), a police watchdog, are to assess the performance of police forces across England and Wales, the Home Office (interior ministry) said.
As part of the review, HMIC is expected to focus on the effectiveness of the police approach to domestic violence, whether victims deemed at risk are appropriately protected, whether police are learning from past experiences and adapting their response, and whether any changes need to be made to the overall police approach.
"This government is serious about keeping women and girls safe. We have seen improvements over the past year - domestic violence, rape and sexual offence prosecutions have reached their highest ever conviction rate for the second year running - so the systems in place to protect women are working better," said Home Secretary Theresa May.
"But sadly there are still too many cases ... where victims have lost their lives because warning signs were missed," she said in a statement.
Last year, 1.2 million women in Britain suffered some form of domestic abuse and 51 percent of women who were murdered were killed by either a partner or ex-partner, official figures showed.
HMIC is due to report to the Home Office next April