Europe shares hit 17-month high

An independent inquiry will be launched into the police handling of the fatal stabbing of a 24-year-old woman by her ex-partner, the BBC has learned.

Officers were called to Katie Summers' house in Farnworth, near Bolton, four times in the days leading up to her murder, it had emerged.

The investigation comes as ministers launch a consultation on violence against women in England and Wales.

It will consider measures to challenge attitudes and tackle serial offenders.

Frenzied attack

Katie Summers' murder raised questions about the police's approach to incidents of domestic violence.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission will examine whether police acted appropriately and what records they kept about the abuse.

Ms Summers, also known as Katie Boardman, was killed in a frenzied attack by Brian Taylor in October 2008.

The couple's on-off eight-year relationship was said to be volatile and violent.
In the days before she died, officers from Greater Manchester Police went to her home four times.

On the final occasion Taylor was arrested for an unconnected offense and released on bail.

The Westminster review is expected to examine the sexualisation of young girls in marketing and the media and examine new initiatives against men who repeatedly use violence against women.

It is estimated that six women die every month at the hands of partners or ex-partners.

Isla Arendell, from the Women's Institute, says most people know someone who has suffered from domestic violence.

"They could be hidden in your family, someone in your family, your friend, a colleague, someone in your street. People don't, women don't talk about this. There's a whole taboo around violence in the family, in the home," she said.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Assembly Government said it would work with Whitehall on non-devolved domestic violence matters as well as on issues such as honor violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

By Danny Shaw, BBC News, 9 March 2009

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