Intimate partner homicide in England and Wales 2011-2013: pathways to prediction from multi-agency Domestic Homicide Reviews

19 Jul 2019

Research Question What pathways to more accurate prediction of intimate partner homicide (IPH) can be found by reviewing two years of official Domestic Homicide Reviews in England and Wales? Data This study conducted a detailed review of investigative source material, police database information and the official independent author reviews of the 188 cases of intimate partner homicide recorded in England and Wales between April 2011 and March 2013. Methods Descriptive analytical techniques were used to explore the prevalence of various characteristics of victims, offenders and relationships in these cases, with special attention given to offender suicide ideation as a precursor to the crimes. Findings Offenders in these cases were 86% male, with high rates of both chronic substance abuse (61%) and prior reported offending (50%) against their homicide victim. The most disproportionately prevalent characteristic appears to be that 40% of the male offenders were known by someone, but often not to police, as suffering suicidal ideation, self-harm or attempted suicides. The prevalence of that marker, while not measureable in the general population, is over four times higher than the pre-offence police indications of suicidal tendencies across 80 domestic homicides in Leicestershire (Button et al., 2017). Conclusions It is plausible that many more intimate partner homicides might be accurately predicted, and perhaps prevented, with more public investment in obtaining data on suicidal indicators and more proactive treatment of domestic abuse offenders known to suffer suicidal tendencies.