South East Wales

IPCC South Wales Police inquiry over woman's death

Posed by model Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The inquiry follows the IPCC's earlier criticism of South Wales Police over its handling of domestic abuse

A watchdog is investigating how police responded to a domestic abuse incident where a woman was later found dead.

South Wales Police attended Lisa Moller's home at Cwrt Eirlys, Barry, twice on 31 August but failed to speak to her on both occasions.

They removed a man known to the 35-year-old but he later returned, broke in and found her dead.

South Wales Police said it was co-operating with the Independent Police Complaints Commission's investigation.

The Welsh Ambulance Service attended Ms Moller's home at 10:50 BST and told police she had died.

'Sufficient efforts'

There were no suspicious circumstances.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said a neighbour had twice called the police and reported domestic disturbances.

"This is a very sad and difficult time for Lisa's family, and they have my deepest sympathy over their loss," said IPCC commissioner Jan Williams.

"Our investigators have met with the family and explained why the IPCC is involved and how we will set about our investigation."

Image caption Charmaine Lewis was left with serious injuries in an attack

She said the watchdog is examining how South Wales Police responded to the calls, including whether officers made sufficient efforts to check on the welfare of anyone inside the property.

"We want to establish what information was available to the officers attending the house, and whether their responses were in line with national and local policy and guidance," Ms Williams said.

"We are also investigating whether the officers who attended had sufficient supervision, and whether they had adequate domestic abuse training."

South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Nicola Holland said the force sympathised with Ms Moller's family.

"Lisa's death is tragic and I would like to assure her family that the force will fully cooperate with the IPCC's independent investigation," she said.

"South Wales Police is committed to protecting the public from domestic abuse and we will consider and act on any concerns that the IPCC may identify during the course of their investigation."

Claw hammer attack

The latest IPCC inquiry follows the watchdog's earlier criticism of the force over its handling of domestic abuse.

An IPCC report, published in June, found the force had failed Charmaine Lewis who after seeking help from police, was later attacked with a claw hammer in 2011.

Image copyright Other
Image caption Joanna Michael was stabbed to death by her boyfriend in 2009 despite twice ringing 999

At the time the report was published South Wales Police said it had invested in additional resources and had provided domestic abuse training for frontline staff.

It said a HMIC inspection had recently "reported positively" on the force's response.

In 2010, another IPCC report criticised both South Wales and Gwent police forces following the murder of 25-year-old Joanna Michael, from St Mellons.

She was stabbed to death by her former boyfriend Cyron Williams after what the IPCC described was a "fatal combination of technological and human errors" in dealing with her 999 calls.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites