London: Police present at domestic riots ‘leaving’ victim

Sistah Space said this is 'one of the worst police reactions' they have ever seen to an incident of alleged domestic violence (Photos: Susannah Ireland, PA)

Sistah Space’s founder Ngozi Fulani described the incident as “one of the worst police reactions” she had ever seen to alleged domestic violence (Photo: Susannah Ireland / PA)

Metropolitan police officers have been accused of leaving an alleged victim of domestic violence in the apartment she shares with her ‘potentially violent’ partner.

The woman, who is 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’, is 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 called Ngozi Fulani, the founder of an African-Caribbean Women Domestic Violence Charity, to protect her from police who tried to remove her from her home.

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

The Independent Advocate for Domestic Violence (IDVA), who started Sistah Space, told Metro.co.uk: ‘They said this was not domestic violence, it was just an argument – and I told them it was not their decision to decide.

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

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So if there was anything she needed to say, she’s not sure enough to say it – especially when the officers tell her she’s the one to go.

‘The information they gave the woman was dangerous. I told them that their hostile behavior is very offensive. The female officer kept saying “there is no problem here, it is not a crime”.

‘Then she said this is about people who can’t resolve their disagreements and involve the police, and so they went.

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

‘My professional advice was that she had to go. We’re still working to get her to a safe place. ‘

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

Mrs Fulani added that the officers ‘coldly’ suggested that the woman could sit in the reception area at the police station all night.

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

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

The London-based charity, set up in 2015, launched a petition earlier this year calling for compulsory police training to support black women affected by domestic violence.

The petition, which has received almost 100,000 signatures – the number needed to be considered for debate in parliament – is pushing for the creation of Valerie’s law.

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

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

A spokesman for the capital police confirmed that officers were called at. 23.17 on Tuesday 19 October to a residential address following reports of a domestic unrest.

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 any of the parties at the time.

‘Officers were in contact with a representative of a charity who attended the scene and was unhappy with the police response.

‘We will contact them to resolve any concerns they may have and whether they wish to lodge a public complaint.

‘Our officers understand that their actions will be investigated while carrying out their work and that the public has the right to hold them accountable where appropriate.’

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

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