Wiltshire Police has apologised for the second time after a review found more cases of staff failing to protect potential victims of domestic abuse.

The police force referred itself to the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) earlier this year, which works as the ‘Ofsted’ of policing to monitor and investigate allegations within police forces across the UK.

In October 2023, a member of police staff was suspended and an urgent review was launched over a failure to disclose information under Clare's Law which could have protected people from domestic violence.

Clare's Law was rolled out in 2014 after the murder of Clare Wood by an abusive ex-boyfriend in 2009, and it gives people a right to know if their current or ex-partner has any previous history of violence or abuse.

Speaking now about the progress of the review, Wiltshire Police said it has made further referrals regarding additional concerns which the force has since identified.

We can confirm that additional service failures have been identified,” said a spokesperson for Wiltshire Police.

“As a result, we’ve made three further referrals to the IOPC – two of these relate to incidents where we failed to protect someone after information had been requested.” 

The review has also revealed that the member of policing staff who is the subject of the ongoing IOPC investigation had been previously referred to the standards body in both 2019 and 2020.

Wiltshire Police said it is now in discussion with the IOPC regarding a further referral.

“Last month, I made a commitment to our communities that we would continue to be transparent as we work through our review,” said chief constable Catherine Roper.

Swindon Advertiser: Chief constable Catherine RoperChief constable Catherine Roper (Image: Wiltshire Police)

“Having now reviewed more applications, we know there have been additional failures to disclose information which may have protected those most at risk from domestic violence. 

“Once again, I would like to wholeheartedly apologise to all those we have let down. 

“My officers and staff continue to prioritise those most at risk from harm and will be arranging urgent face to face meetings to disclose important information and offer safeguarding advice. 

“All additional failures in services will be referred into the IOPC to ensure the right level of independent scrutiny is applied. 

“Finally, I would like to repeat my plea to our communities – I know we have badly let you down, but I am asking for your trust and urge you to come forward if you have any concerns or information regarding people at risk of domestic abuse.”

Assistant Chief Officer Craig Dibdin has been appointed as strategic lead to oversee the review, and a detective chief inspector has been appointed as a dedicated Senior Investigating Officer.

36 members of staff will now work solely on the review team.