Independent Police Complaints Commission
IPCC investigation of Hertfordshire Constabulary officers following death of Nicola Cross complete
An IPCC investigation launched following the tragic death of Nicola Cross has concluded that police officers followed applicable policies and guidelines.
Mrs Cross was killed in her home by Marcin Porczynski on 14 September 2015 in Hemel Hempstead. Mr Porczynski, who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time, was found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility in December 2016 and sent to a secure mental health facility indefinitely.
The IPCC investigation found that Hertfordshire Constabulary officers had been called to the area on the evening of 14 September following a 999 call by Mrs Cross and other residents reporting a man that was acting erratically and had tried to force entry to her home.
Mr Porczynski was detained and then released by officers as there were no grounds to detain him further. He later returned to Mrs Cross’ property and killed her.
The IPCC investigation, which was suspended while criminal proceedings were conducted, was completed on 1 August 2017 and its conclusions have been accepted by Hertfordshire Constabulary.
The investigation looked at the actions of Hertfordshire Constabulary leading up to Mrs Cross’ death and also considered a subsequent complaint lodged by her husband regarding officers’ communication with Mrs Cross prior to the attack.
The investigator concluded the actions of no officer or staff member with Hertfordshire Constabulary could be considered misconduct.
The investigator upheld the complaint by Mr Cross that the officers did not inform his wife that Mr Porczynski had been released after he was first detained but concluded this could not be judged by a tribunal to be misconduct.
Operations Manager Neil Orbell said: “This investigation was launched following the tragic killing of a woman in her own home. Our investigation, which resumed this year following the trial of Mr Porczynski, concluded that while officers had detained him earlier that night their actions, and those of other Hertfordshire Constabulary employees, could not be considered to be misconduct.
“My deepest sympathy goes out to Nicola’s husband and children, and to all those involved in this awful event.”
A redacted final report will be published shortly.
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