Review into Zara Aleena’s murder highlights more disastrous failings by Probation Service


A review that has been published today (24.01.2023) into the Probation Service’s handling of Zara Aleena’s murder has identified serious failings.

Farah Nazeer Chief Executive, Women’s Aid said:

“Zara Aleena’s murder highlights yet another catastrophic failure by the probation service to protect women and girls from dangerous men.

Zara’s murderer was a prolific offender, with a history of violence and 28 convictions, but a catalogue of grave errors deemed him as medium risk, allowing him the freedom to prey on and attack women, and to carry out the horrific fatal assault on Zara.

Just one week after the Probation Service review into how another dangerous man was allowed the freedom to kill Terri Harris and three children, it is terrifying to hear the report author, Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell admit that it is ‘impossible to say’ whether the public are safe. How many more women will die before violent predators are properly monitored?

When a violent abuser is released from prison there must be robust safeguards and support provided to women to keep them safe. There continue to be serious concerns about the quality of probation practice in relation to the assessment and management of perpetrators of domestic abuse, the lack of experience and knowledge that probation officers have in this area and the supervision they have in making the right judgements.

Domestic abuse and all violence against women and girls must be a priority across the entire justice sector and the government must act to ensure the Probation service are fit for purpose in responding to survivors. The horrific murder of Zara Aleena is tragically yet another urgent wake up call to the probation service and other agencies to overhaul their response to survivors now, and to Government to ensure services are adequately funded to keep women safe.”

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