Independent Police Complaints Commission
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Call handling recommendations made following death of woman in Warwickshire

Recommendations made by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) following an investigation into police contact with Luisa Mendes prior to her death have led to procedural improvements in Warwickshire Police call handling.

An inquest into the death of Ms Mendes in Leamington Spa last Thursday returned a narrative conclusion.

The body of Ms Mendes, 44, was discovered at a house in Leamington Spa on 25 October 2012.  During a phone call with police the evening before she alleged she had been assaulted. The call was graded as a ‘priority’ call which required police to attend within one hour but no resources were sent until the next morning.

The IPCC concluded its investigation in 2014 and recommended that Warwickshire Police re-examine the handover process for control room staff to ensure that incidents that have not been allocated are flagged up to staff beginning a shift. The IPCC also recommended that control room supervisors intrusively supervise all immediate and priority incidents, and consider whether technology would ensure that such incidents could not be deferred without the authority of a supervisor.  

Warwickshire Police accepted the recommendations and has since taken a number of steps to address concerns, including improved use of its intelligence systems and better training for call handlers and supervisors.

Three control room staff received final written warnings following hearings held by Warwickshire Police.

IPCC Associate Commissioner Guido Liguori said: “Luisa’s death was a tragic event and my condolences remain with her family and friends. Evidence gathered by our investigation has helped inform the current inquest, as well as earlier misconduct proceedings. Our investigation has been able to contribute to the learning from this sad death.”

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