Gloucestershire

Hollie Gazzard murder: IPCC criticises police response

Hollie Gazzard was fatally stabbed at a Gloucester hair salon in February Image copyright PA
Image caption Hollie Gazzard was fatally stabbed at a Gloucester hair salon in February 2014

"Inadequate" domestic violence procedures in the lead-up to the murder of a hairdresser who was stabbed by her ex-boyfriend have been criticised.

Hollie Gazzard was attacked at a beauty salon by Asher Maslin, who was later sentenced to life for her murder.

It happened three days after she reported him to Gloucestershire Police for theft of her bank card and cash.

The police watchdog said the contact was "proportionate" but the "potential importance was not fully appreciated".

Response 'symptomatic'

The report, from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), said the force's domestic abuse policies and training at the time "hindered a comprehensive response".

It said the investigation found that although the officers' actions were proportionate to the theft, they did not fully appreciate its potential importance when considered as one of a number of domestic incidents.

During the investigation, the call handler who took Miss Gazzard's call and the two officers who responded were investigated for possible misconduct.

Although the investigation highlighted failings by the officers in their response it did not recommend they or the call handler face disciplinary action.

The report added the officers' response was "symptomatic of the force's inadequate policies and guidelines".

But, the police watchdog said, following a re-inspection by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary it "commended" the force's progress in this area.

Commenting on the report Ms Gazzard's father, Nick, said Hollie "gave a lot of information" to police.

"From what was known... at the time they ought to have known that Hollie was at risk and reasonable steps should have been taken to protect her."

Maslin, 22, admitted repeatedly knifing Miss Gazzard, 20, at Fringe Benefits and La Bella Beauty salon in Gloucester in February 2014. He was told he would serve a minimum of 24 years.

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