Domestic Homicides (4978/14)

Request

  1. How many domestic homicides has your force dealt with over the last five years? A total figure is fine, or if you wish, break it down year by year. In this context, I am defining a ‘domestic homicide’ as being when a person is found guilty of killing a partner/former – murder or manslaughter. I am excluding other tragic cases of where parents kill themselves and/or their children etc.

 

  1. How many of these persons (the ones convicted of killing) had any kind of prior criminal record ranging from low level crime to more serious acts of violence, cautions to imprisonment etc?

 

  1. And how many of these people were on any kind of watch list / high risk assessment register / or similar?

Response

  1. How many domestic homicides has your force dealt with over the last five years?

 

The number of Murder/Manslaughter, offence type ‘Domestic Violence’ , by  Year and the Number of Police Charges

 

Year Total Detected Charged
2009 8 6 6
2010 9 8 7
2011 13 13 13
2012 7 6 6
2013 10 9 9
2014 4 3 2

 

  1. How many of these persons (the ones convicted of killing) had any kind of prior criminal record ranging from low level crime to more serious acts of violence, cautions to imprisonment etc?

 

18 persons who have been convicted of the offence had a previous criminal record. There are 9 cases that have yet to come to court.

 

  1. And how many of these people were on any kind of watch list / high risk assessment register / or similar?

West Midlands Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any other information relevant to this request, as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement

Evidence of Harm

Modern-day policing is intelligence led. The National Intelligence Model is adhered to by all police forces across England and Wales.  It is a business process with an intention to provide focus to operational policing and to achieve a disproportionately greater impact from the resources applied to any problem.  It is dependant on a clear framework of analysis of information and intelligence allowing a problem solving approach to law enforcement crime prevention techniques.  To confirm whether or not West Midlands Police use any other covert methods as an investigative tool would undermine any ongoing covert operation by revealing tactical capability and intelligence within this area. The prevention and detection of crime is the foundation upon which policing is built.  The Police Service has a clear responsibility to prevent crime and arrest those responsible for committing crime or those than plan to commit crime.  By confirming whether or not a specific tactic is used could directly influence the stages of that process, jeopardise current investigations and prejudice future law enforcement.  This in turn could lead to police officers being resourced away from the frontline in order to focus on catching the criminals involved within any undercover investigation.

Factors Favouring Confirming Any Other Information is Held

By confirming or denying whether any other information is held relevant to your request would lead to better public awareness into how West Midlands Police tackle crime which may lead to more information being submitted from the public which may culminate in a reduction of crime. It will also enable the public to scrutinise the Police procedures in protecting the public from this type of vicious crime.

 

Factors Against Confirming Any Other Information is Held

The Police Service will not confirm whether or not it is involved in any other areas monitoring of offenders.  To do so would disclose information to the detriment of law enforcement techniques as evidenced within the above harm.

 

Balance test

The Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve. Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations/ tactics and providing assurance that the police service is appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat posed by those with a criminal intent, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of police investigations and operations in this highly sensitive area. As much as there is public interest in knowing that policing activity is appropriate and balanced, this will only be overridden in exceptional circumstances. It is therefore our opinion that for these issues the balance lies in favour of neither confirming or denying that any other information is held relevant to the request.

 

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