Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Police missed screaming 999 call from murdered family 'after operator sent officers to wrong address... and force failed to follow it up'

Police missed a desperate, screaming 999 call from a teenage girl while she and her family where being murdered in their home, a report revealed yesterday.

University lecturer Jifeng Ding, 46, his wife Helen Chui, 47, and their two children, Xing, 18, and Alice, 12, were stabbed to death at their house in Pioneer Close, Northampton, on the day of the Royal Wedding.

But their bodies weren't discovered until two days later when a worldwide hunt was launched for prime suspect Anxiang Du, 52 - a former business partner of Helen.

An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission has concluded that the way Northamptonshire Police handled the call was 'unacceptable' after analysing the chain of events from when Xing called them to say her parents were being attacked.

It found:

  • The location from which the 999 call was made was incorrectly identified and disseminated by a police call handler, which led to the police focusing on the wrong address
  • Insufficient checks were carried out to determine the correct address of the caller
  • The call should have been graded as requiring an ‘immediate’ rather than a ‘priority’ police response
  • The call was prematurely closed by a force control room supervisor without sufficient consideration or effort given to establish the welfare of the caller

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