Police ‘stopped domestic abuse victim pursuing complaint about fractured skull’

Police stock pix.Picture Richard Ponter 134127e
Police stock pix.Picture Richard Ponter 134127e
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South Yorkshire Police is at the centre of another misconduct probe after it was claimed its officers dissuaded an alleged victim of domestic abuse from pursuing a complaint about an attack which left her with a fractured skull.

The under-fire police force is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over its response to a woman’s complaints about an abusive ex-boyfriend.

According to the IPCC, the woman said the force had not properly investigated a number of allegations that she was physically and sexually assaulted by a man she had been in a relationship with.

It is also alleged that South Yorkshire Police officers dissuaded her from pursuing a complaint about an incident that left her with a fractured skull.

An IPCC spokesman said: “The investigation will look at the complainant’s contact with officers from South Yorkshire Police between 1995 and 1996. It will be overseen by IPCC Commissioner Kathryn Stone OBE.”

It is understood that this investigation is not linked to child sexual exploitation or Professor Alexis Jay’s independent review of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “South Yorkshire Police received a complaint from a woman in December 2014 regarding the way the force investigated an assault allegation involving an ex-partner.

“The complaint was received via the IPCC. The force referred the complaint back to the IPCC who will carry out an independent investigation. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

In August, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary hit out at an “unacceptable” culture within South Yorkshire Police’s public protection unit that shows “a disregard for victims”.

The report said an “investigate to record” process was particularly evident in the unit, which deals with rape, serious sexual assault, honour-based violence and domestic abuse, meaning incidents are not recorded as crimes at first.

It added there was “a great deal of time spent trying to disprove the word of the victim from the outset”.