Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries

Domestic Violence Policy Applies to Police Officers

Investigation | 15 January 2019

The Ombudsman became aware of an incident where a woman was allegedly held in her home by her husband, a member of the RCIPS, who was said to be armed and threatening suicide. A friend of the woman was notified about the incident and

called the police who responded and investigated the incident. The Ombudsman decided to review the RCIPS investigation because of an alleged failure to follow their Domestic Violence Policy.

The Ombudsman cited numerous shortcomings in the investigation, finding the RCIPS failed to conduct a thorough, impartial and timely investigation of this matter. Our investigation revealed the RCIPS did not follow their policies regarding domestic violence investigations and did not properly involve the Family Support Unit (FSU). The Ombudsman recommended the Commissioner address the failures identified, including consideration of disciplinary action for officers involved. She also recommended that the Commissioner remind all officers of their oath to serve “without favour or affection, malice or ill will”. The Ombudsman also directed the RCIPS to ensure the wellbeing of the officer’s wife and to review the fitness for duty of the police officer involved. The Commissioner accepted the recommendations. The officer was found to be fit to resume duties and the wife was offered support; the Commissioner used the incident as a learning opportunity for all officers and has circulated a service order regarding the requirement to treat officers no differently than members of the public.