Independent Police Complaints Commission
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Recommendations to improve police cross border working for serious offences following IPCC investigation

The IPCC has urged police forces to agree which one should be take primacy in cases crossing their boundaries. One force taking primary responsibility should enable more effective coordination to ensure vulnerable victims are protected and serious offenders are brought to justice.

This will be facilitated by recent improvements to the police national database (PND) that enables users to better track perpetrators and suspects in domestic abuse cases and more readily make connections between different investigations across multiple police forces.

In December 2016, an independent IPCC investigation identified significant failings by Kent and Greater Manchester Police in how they dealt with allegations against Lee Nolan, who was convicted of murder in February 2016 at Manchester Crown Court.

The IPCC examined how Kent and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) investigated two alleged rapes and an alleged threat to life by Nolan, which were unrelated to his later conviction. It was found that the of threats to kill by Nolan was never progressed by either Kent Police or GMP. There was confusion over which force would investigate as Kent thought that Nolan had been in Manchester at the time the offence was alleged but GMP were unaware of this.

Neither force took responsibility for investigating this threat to kill which meant that potential opportunities to bring him to justice earlier were missed.  In this case, the failings were both individual and systemic with neither force involved assuming primacy. There was also no system, policy or protocol in place to ensure that this happened.

IPCC Deputy Chair Rachel Cerfontyne said:

“I have previously highlighted the failings in the Nolan investigation and I am now asking the NPCC and the College of Policing to promote better inter-force working as well as actively encouraging officers to make full use of the improvements to the police national database.

“Whilst this improvement to the PND will be an obvious benefit, it does not negate the need for staff from different force areas contacting each other to decide which force area is going to take overall responsibility for the primary investigative role in relation to the offender.”


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