An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IPCC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IPCC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IPCC.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.

The appropriate authority can be:

  • the chief officer of the police force
  • the Police and Crime Commissioner responsible for the police force you complained about
  • the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service)
  • the Common Council for the City of London (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the City of London police).
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
A person is adversely affected is he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
IPCC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer complained about.
Consists of a chair, two deputy chairs, and commissioners – each responsible for specific police forces, guardianship work and individual cases.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only take place in certain limited circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IPCC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter; and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into a complaint and produces a report that details the outcome of each allegation. There are four types of investigation: local investigation, supervised investigation, managed investigation and independent investigation.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
The IPCC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
An application by a complainant for a police decision to be reviewed.

IPCC publishes investigation report into Essex Police contact with Jeanette Goodwin prior to her murder

Oct 30, 2012

30 October 2012

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is today issuing its findings from an investigation into Essex Police contact with a woman prior to her murder last year in Southend.

Jeanette Goodwin, 47, was found by police with multiple stab wounds at her home in Quebec Avenue, Southend on the evening of Sunday 24 July 2011. Martin Bunch was subsequently arrested and was convicted of her murder in August this year. Having been convicted on 21 June 2011 of battery against Jeanette Goodwin, for which he received a conditional discharge, when arrested for harassment and on a separate matter of actual bodily harm days later, Mr Bunch was released on conditional bail by South-East Essex magistrates’ court. Police then arrested him three times for breaches including for having removed his electronic tag, and on two of those occasions he was released by the magistrates’ court on bail conditions not to contact Mrs Goodwin.

Mrs Goodwin made seven reports to police from January 2011 of harassment and domestic violence by Mr Bunch, her ex-partner, prior to her death. Her last call to police was on the day of her murder, hours before she was found by police.

The IPCC investigation found that Essex Police took Mrs Goodwin’s reports of domestic violence seriously from the outset, offered her practical assistance, and put Martin Bunch before the courts on several occasions, strongly urging his remand in custody, on the basis it was the only way to effectively protect Mrs Goodwin. However, on the day of her murder they did not provide an essential emergency response to a high-risk victim. This was due to a breakdown of communication, a lack of resources and a failure to appropriately prioritise the case. Vital intelligence checks were not made, which would have alerted the decision makers to the danger Mrs Goodwin was in and her repeated expressions of fear were not recorded by the call taker.

Throughout their contact, police encouraged Mrs Goodwin to engage with them, to pursue her allegations against the offender, and to consider help from specialist domestic abuse organisations. She accepted the offer of a panic alarm, which was installed at her home. Officers referred her case to a multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) and a safety plan was developed.  

However, the investigation found there were shortcomings by Essex Police in responding to Jeanette Goodwin’s call to them at around 2.40 pm on the day of her murder, in which she reported further harassment, stated five times that she was scared, and that Martin Bunch had been at her fence. Mrs Goodwin said she needed to go out to town and would be home by 4.30 pm for an officer to see her, and her demeanour was noted as ‘calm, male not present’ by the police call-taker. The fact Mrs Goodwin said she was scared was not noted on the police log. No background or intelligence checks were made to inform the police response.

These factors, combined with too few supervisory staff in the control room as well as limited officer resources on the Southend division on an operationally busy day, led to the call not being treated as urgent, which it should have been. The investigation also found that a lack of clarity in Essex Police’s domestic abuse policy and working practice was partially responsible for the lack of background and intelligence checks being conducted. There was no further police contact with Mrs Goodwin prior to around 7.40 pm that evening when her home panic alarm was activated. Officers swiftly attended and found her with multiple stab wounds.

IPCC Commissioner, Rachel Cerfontyne, said:

“Police arrested Martin Bunch several times, put him before the courts, and strongly recommended his detention in custody as the only way to ensure Jeanette Goodwin’s safety.

“The inadequate Essex Police response on the day of the murder contrasted with the concerted effort made by the force to protect Jeanette Goodwin in the preceding months.

“The system in place then was badly flawed, not utilising intelligence checks to inform decision-making when prioritising incidents. The call taker’s perception of Mrs Goodwin’s calmness and her stated intention to go out shopping were wrongly used as a reason not to dispatch officers. There was a failure to recognise, in the light of the known history of this case, that Mr Bunch’s presence close to her home, in breach of his bail conditions, required immediate and urgent action to try and arrest him. He had clearly become obsessed with her, his persistent stalking and harassment were strong indicators of how dangerous he was.”

The IPCC has made four recommendations to Essex Police around the handling of domestic violence incidents by the Force Control Room (FCR). None of the actions of individual police officers or members of staff amounted to misconduct. As a result of the IPCC investigation, four members of police staff working in the FCR and one police officer have received performance debriefs from a senior officer at Essex Police. The force has revised its domestic abuse policy to set out clear roles within the FCR, to ensure background and intelligence checks are carried out quickly following calls, and improve training for staff.

A Domestic Homicide Review is looking at the involvement of other agencies in Mrs Goodwin’s case.

The IPCC’s Jeanette Goodwin investigation report is available here.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact the IPCC press office on 0207 166 3239

An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IPCC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IPCC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IPCC.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.

The appropriate authority can be:

  • the chief officer of the police force
  • the Police and Crime Commissioner responsible for the police force you complained about
  • the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service)
  • the Common Council for the City of London (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the City of London police).
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
A person is adversely affected is he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
IPCC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer complained about.
Consists of a chair, two deputy chairs, and commissioners – each responsible for specific police forces, guardianship work and individual cases.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only take place in certain limited circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IPCC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter; and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into a complaint and produces a report that details the outcome of each allegation. There are four types of investigation: local investigation, supervised investigation, managed investigation and independent investigation.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
The IPCC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
An application by a complainant for a police decision to be reviewed.

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