An independent watchdog found shortcomings in Leicestershire police’s handling of Joy Small’s complaints against her ex-partner â€“ but said there was no evidence of misconduct.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) completed its review late last year, but only published its findings after yesterday’s inquests.
Its investigators said that Leicestershire police officers had contact with the family on at least eight occasions between 2006 and 2010.
They concentrated on four of those incidents â€“ complaints made by Ms Small over four weeks in May and June 2010.
On two occasions â€“ June 8 and 24 â€“ it said officers had not observed force policy.
Initially, they failed to visit Ms Small within an hour of her complaint that Mr Aziz was harassing her, contacting her the next day to make an appointment to speak to her.
The appointment “kept being deferred”, the IPCC said, and the original allegation of harassment was not recorded as a domestic violence incident on the force’s database.
The force has accepted the report, but said it could not have predicted Mr Aziz would kill himself and his family.
IPCC commissioner Amerdeep Somal said: “Some appropriate steps were taken by police to help Joy Small at different times.
“However, some incidents could have been handled and recorded better, and I am confident the force has responded to our findings seriously.
“Better recording of evidence of Mr Aziz’s behaviour would have indicated a course of conduct which may have supported a charge of harassment.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Julia Debenham said: “The force accepts the findings of the IPCC’s report and acknowledges that there were a number of occasions when force policy was not adhered to and that some incidents in June 2010 could have been handled better.
“The report also recognises the positive steps that had been taken to help Ms Small and highlights improvements in a number of areas that subsequently have been made by the force.”
Police had failings in handling of Joy Smallâ€™s complaints – but no evidence of misconduct