Five Derbyshire Police officers under investigation over their handling of reports before Gracie Spinks death.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has made good progress on our investigation into police contact with Gracie Spinks prior to her death in Duckmanton, Derbyshire earlier this year.
We are investigating the circumstances of contact between Ms Spinks, 23, and Derbyshire Constabulary in the months leading up to her death on 18 June 2021.
Ms Spinks had contacted the force in February this year to make an allegation of stalking, and officers spoke to her and the man whose behaviour she had reported.
Our investigation is considering whether the force carried out all its safeguarding obligations to Ms Spinks and whether its investigation into the stalking matter was carried out in accordance with relevant police guidelines and policies.
We are also looking into the actions and decision making of police following the discovery of a bag, containing a hammer, an axe and some knives, in May this year. The bag had been found close to where Ms Spinks died several weeks later, and its discovery was reported to the force.
Based on the evidence we have assessed to date; we have served a gross misconduct notice on a police sergeant and misconduct notices on two constables in relation to what steps were taken after the bag was found and reported on May 6 and collected by police. We have also served misconduct notices on a separate police sergeant and constable concerning how the investigation into the stalking and harassment allegation was handled.
IOPC Regional Director, Derrick Campbell said: “We have made good progress, but our investigation is ongoing and there is more work still to do. After consideration of evidence so far, we have reached a stage where we have now served disciplinary notices on five officers. The purpose of such notices is to advise officers their conduct is subject to investigation, and do not necessarily mean that disciplinary proceedings will follow. The serving of notices will be kept under review. We aren’t able to provide more detail at present, but we appreciate the impact Gracie’s death has had on the local community and beyond and the importance of keeping people updated with our investigation’s progress.
“We are keeping Gracie’s family informed and we note the work they have undertaken with others to campaign for Gracie’s Law to help better protect victims of stalking.”