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Police mistakes over stabbing death

A spelling error on a police computer meant domestic abuse was not handled properly by police shortly before a woman was murdered.

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Police respond to IPCC report

Northumbria Police have responded to criticisms over their handling of an incident of domestic abuse shortly before a woman was murdered by her partner.

"Our thoughts continue to be with the family and friends of Sarah Gosling following her murder.

"The officers who attended on the evening of February 25 were called to a report of a neighbourhood dispute. Ms Gosling was calm and did not make any complaint of assault, which she had done in the past. The officers also spoke to Ian Hope separately. Even if the officers had been aware of the domestic abuse history, there was still no reasonable basis to arrest Hope given the circumstances the officers faced."

– Supt Steve Wade, Northumbria Police

"Special attention has been given to extra training for officers around domestic abuse to ensure they recognise potential signs, even if it is not immediately obvious or is not the reason they have been called out. "There have been changes to the force computer system so the addresses of all high risk perpetrators and victims are 'flagged' so anyone attending an incident can immediately see any domestic violence history attached to an address and not just to an individual.

"Clearly there were lessons to be learned and we have taken every step we can to avoid a repeat of this incident."

– Supt Steve Wade, Northumbria Police

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