An inquest into the murders of two Solihull women has described the ‘full horror’ of police failings in relation to their deaths. Raneem Oudeh and her mother, Khaola Saleem, were murdered by Ms Oudeh’s estranged husband, Janbaz Tarin, in August 2018.
An inquest into their deaths concluded that multiple failings by West Midlands police ‘materially contributed’ to their deaths. Ms Oudeh had reported violence, stalking and threats to kill, but officers did not investigate or arrest Tarin before he stabbed both women in a frenzied attack.
The inquest heard that in the months leading up to the murders, Ms Oudeh had called 999 to report abusive behaviour fourteen times, but officers ‘failed to carry out effective investigations into potential offences’ and ‘failed to take sufficient steps to safeguard’ her. The women were killed while Ms Oudeh was on the phone to the police, with screaming audible in the background of the call.
Sitting at Birmingham Coroner’s Court, an inquest jury found failures by the police force to follow their own basic domestic violence policies and guidance, including failures at all levels of policing over a five month period. These included the failure to arrest the perpetrator for the offences he was repeatedly committing ‘empowering him to act with impunity’.
Harriet Wistrich, Director of the Centre for Women’s justice said: “The police failings in this case are absolutely terrifying. The evidence heard demonstrated a failure by police officers to understand the dynamics of domestic abuse and honour-based violence and a wholesale failure to implement any laws, policies or protective powers they have which could have prevented these two deaths.”
Selen Cavcav at the charity INQUEST said of the case: “If it wasn’t for this inquest and the absolute determination of the family to speak out, the horrifying failures by the West Midlands police would have never been revealed. It is beggars belief that in 2022, we are still examining police’s response to violence against women especially women from minoritized communities. What happened to Raneem and Khaola is unforgivable.”