Hertfordshire Police officers failed to protect woman before stabbing by her domestic abuser

Hertfordshire Police.
Credit: LDRS
The man was seen outside the woman's house, but officers failed to protect the victim following the breach. Credit: LDRS

Two police officers have been sacked for failing to protect a woman who complained her domestic abuser had breached a legal order before he stabbed her a month later.

In August 2021, the woman showed Hertfordshire Police officers PC Dominic Van Der Linden and former PC Mark Coleman doorbell footage of her ex-husband standing outside her home.

The man was not arrested, as the officers reminded him of the conditions of his non-molestation order and no further action was taken.

The next month he stabbed his victim several times, leaving her with serious injuries.

On Monday, the pair of officers had gross misconduct allegations proven against them following a disciplinary hearing, as they had failed to properly investigate the breach, despite a "pattern of concerning behaviour".

PC Van Der Linden was dismissed without notice and former PC Coleman would have been sacked with immediate effect had he not resigned and left the force in September.

An Independent Office for Police Conduct panel concluded that the officers breached standards of professional behaviour relating to duties and responsibilities, orders and instructions and honesty and integrity.

Charmaine Arbouin, IOPC regional director, 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.

“The two officers’ actions damaged public confidence in reporting incidents of this kind.

"They have now been held accountable for their actions and will be placed on the barred list, meaning they cannot be employed in policing in the future.”

A police sergeant, who was supervising, was found to have "performance issues", the IOPC added, so he will undertake a review process.

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