London: Police attending domestic disturbance abandon victim – Metro.co.uk


Sistah Space said this is 'one of the worst police responses' they had ever seen to an incident of alleged domestic abuse (Pictures: Susannah Ireland, PA)
Sistah Space’s founder Ngozi Fulani branded the incident ‘one of the worst police responses’ she had ever seen to alleged domestic abuse (Picture: Susannah Ireland/PA)

Metropolitan Police officers have been accused of abandoning an alleged domestic abuse victim in the flat she shares with her ‘potentially violent’ partner.

The woman, in her late 50s, called the police after she was threatened by her boyfriend at an address in Stoke Newington, London, but was told by officers that ‘there is nothing we can do’, it has been claimed.

A female and a male officer arrived at the property on Tuesday, October 19, just after midnight – but only made ‘the situation worse’, the alleged victim said.

She then phoned Ngozi Fulani, the founder of a domestic violence charity for African-Caribbean women, to protect her from the police, who were trying to remove her from her home.

Ms Fulani, who filmed one of the officers ‘aggravating’ the situation, claimed the incident was ‘one of the worst police responses’ she had ever seen

The independent domestic violence advocate (IDVA), who started Sistah Space, told Metro.co.uk: ‘They said this was not domestic abuse, it was just an argument – and I told them this is not their decision to determine.

‘The woman’s partner was still in earshot, he may not be physically in the room, but the property is very small, so he could hear everything that was being said.

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‘So, if there was something she needed to say, she is not safe enough to say it – especially, when officers are telling her she is the one that has to go.

‘The information they were giving the woman was dangerous. I told them that their hostile behaviour is very offensive. The female officer kept saying “there is not a problem here, it is not a crime”.

‘Then, she said this is about people who cannot sort out their differences and are involving the police, and then they left.

‘What they have done is come in, make the situation worse and then they have left the victim in it.

‘My professional advice was that she had to leave. We are still working to get her to a safe space.’


HACKNEY, LONDON, FEBRUARY 27TH 2020. Independent Domestic Violence Advisor and Sistah Space charity founder Ngozi Headley-Fulani (right) and chief volunteer Rosanna Lewis (left) are pictured at the charity's offices in Hackney, London, February 27th 2020. The community based initiative was founded in 2015 by Ngozi and provides specialist support to women of African and Caribbean heritage affected by domestic abuse. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
Sistah Space charity founder Ngozi Headley-Fulani (right) and chief volunteer Rosanna Lewis (left) are pictured at the charity’s offices in Hackney, London (Picture: Susannah Ireland)

Ms Fulani added that the officers ‘callously’ suggested the woman can sit in the reception area of the police station all night.

The footage, which was shared on Sistah Space’s Twitter page only hours after the incident took place, shows the female officer telling Ms Fulani: ‘What do you want me to do, pay for a hotel out of my own pocket? It’s his flat, he’s on the tenancy, you have to go.’

It comes with the Metropolitan Police under intense scrutiny over its handling of a number of incidents involving women, following the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving member of the force.

The London-based charity, which was set up in 2015, launched a petition earlier this year calling for mandatory training for police supporting black women affected by domestic abuse.

The petition, which has received nearly 100,000 signatures – the number needed for it to be considered for debate in Parliament – is pushing for the creation of Valerie’s Law.


HACKNEY, LONDON, FEBRUARY 27TH 2020. Independent Domestic Violence Advisor and Sistah Space charity founder Ngozi Headley-Fulani (left) and chief volunteer Rosanna Lewis (right) are pictured discussing a client at the charity's offices in Hackney, London, February 27th 2020. The community based initiative was founded in 2015 by Ngozi and provides specialist support to women of African and Caribbean heritage affected by domestic abuse. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
The community based initiative was founded in 2015 by Ms Ngozi and provides specialist support to women of African and Caribbean heritage affected by domestic abuse (Picture: Susannah Ireland)

It is named after Valerie Forde, 45, a domestic abuse victim who had appealed to the police for help before she was brutally murdered by her ex-partner in 2014.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police confirmed officers were called at 11.17pm on Tuesday, October 19, to a residential address following reports of a domestic disturbance.

They added: ‘We are aware of a video circulating on social media showing a small part of the police response to an incident on Palatine Road.

‘Officers attended. No crime was alleged by either party at the time.

‘Officers engaged with a representative from a charity who attended the scene and was unhappy with the police response.

‘We will reach out to them to address any concerns they have and whether they wish to make a public complaint.

‘Our officers understand that their actions will be scrutinised as they go about their work, and that the public have the right to hold them to account where appropriate.’

The spokesperson revealed officers from the Senior Leadership Team and local Professional Standards Unit have spoken to the two officers in the footage.

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