Police apologise to family after scathing IPCC report

Bucks Free Press: Police apologise to Elliott family after scathing IPCC report Police apologise to Elliott family after scathing IPCC report

POLICE have apologised to Shaun Elliott’s family and vowed to improve its missing persons procedures following a scathing report into the way the search was conducted.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation found eight officers failed to comply with force policies during the search for Mr Elliott.

A jury ruled at the conclusion of a three week inquest that had police raised Mr Elliott's risk level sooner, he may have been saved.

Wycombe’s Area Commander Superintendent Ed McLean - who was not in charge of the LPA when Mr Elliott went missing - said: "I would like to extend my sincere condolences to family and friends of Shaun Elliott."

He said the missing persons investigation had been referred to the IPCC by TVP for a transparent review which resulted in some officers receiving management advice.

He added: "Both the IPCC and the coronial enquiry have identified areas for improvement and organisational learning.

"I would like to reassure the family and the community that these findings will be taken seriously and appropriate changes will be implemented accordingly."

The IPCC ruled basic investigatory steps were not carried out during the search for Mr Elliott, with decisions taken based on assumptions rather than facts.

The commission made seven recommendations for improvement to Thames Valley Police, which the force has implemented.

IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “There were basic investigative steps that were not carried out correctly which were compounded by a lack of supervision and what can only be described as a lax approach by senior officers to checking the actions of the constables tasked with investigating Shaun’s disappearance.

"Decisions were based on assumptions rather than fact, and proposed actions and decisions around Shaun’s risk assessment and the rationale for not escalating it to high risk were not documented."

Mr Elliott’s sister Clare said: "We did everything we could to find Shaun but he was let down by Thames Valley Police. His suffering and death could have been avoided.”

“We had no support from the force while Shaun was missing, or even after his death.

"It is a shame that we had to wait two and a half years, and go through an IPCC investigation and inquest, before they could express condolences and regret."

See next week’s Bucks Free Press for a full interview with the family.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:46pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Me, just me says...

Having read the linked story, am I wrong in thinking that Mr Cronin should be in a little bit of trouble regarding this death? He totally ignored the state of Mr Elliott....I would be blaming him rather than the police or care home
Having read the linked story, am I wrong in thinking that Mr Cronin should be in a little bit of trouble regarding this death? He totally ignored the state of Mr Elliott....I would be blaming him rather than the police or care home Me, just me
  • Score: 2

9:43pm Thu 30 Jan 14

England must be saved says...

The Independent Police Complaints Commission have their heads in the sand and pretty deep. Just how many officers are available on a shift and they want to take a couple out to try and find a missing person? How many people are reported missing every 24 hours ... you would seriously be surprised at the numbers .. and while these officers are searching ... and following all the bureaucratic, red tape boll ox that goes with it; what's happening with all the other crimes that are being reported. Who is attending all the other urgent jobs? The cops are in a no win situation! Moral is on it's knees and I know many officers who can't wait to leave and get out. The real guilty parties in this are central Govt who are reducing police operating budgets, number of officers etc all the time. If the police are to be effective, they need the man-power and resources to do the job and do it well. That means money .... but they can't have it because we're sending it overseas.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission have their heads in the sand and pretty deep. Just how many officers are available on a shift and they want to take a couple out to try and find a missing person? How many people are reported missing every 24 hours ... you would seriously be surprised at the numbers .. and while these officers are searching ... and following all the bureaucratic, red tape boll ox that goes with it; what's happening with all the other crimes that are being reported. Who is attending all the other urgent jobs? The cops are in a no win situation! Moral is on it's knees and I know many officers who can't wait to leave and get out. The real guilty parties in this are central Govt who are reducing police operating budgets, number of officers etc all the time. If the police are to be effective, they need the man-power and resources to do the job and do it well. That means money .... but they can't have it because we're sending it overseas. England must be saved
  • Score: 1

9:02am Sat 22 Feb 14

Clara30 says...

Mr Cronin should have been culpable for his death as he clearly ignored Mr Elliott's condition.However, the police did not consider Mr Elliott's dissapearance to be of a concern and it appears they judged him as not worthy of their manpower. When you consider Mr Elliott had mental health problems, learning difficulties, suicidal intent and lived in a care home would you not consider this person to be high risk from the outset?? On the fourth day of Mr Elliott's dissapearance the poilce did not initiate a single line of enquiry to search for him. It appears they had the intelligence of Mr Cronin's link to Mr Elliott on their own database. Is this acceptable, no matter what other crimes the poilce have to investigate? Many individuals are reported missing, however most surface quickly if they wish to be found, whereas Shaun Elliott did not. There were many signs that this vulnerable man was in serious danger and this case thus begs the question as to why he was not worthy to look for, had he been a business man or someone more upstanding in the community would they have searched for him then?
Mr Cronin should have been culpable for his death as he clearly ignored Mr Elliott's condition.However, the police did not consider Mr Elliott's dissapearance to be of a concern and it appears they judged him as not worthy of their manpower. When you consider Mr Elliott had mental health problems, learning difficulties, suicidal intent and lived in a care home would you not consider this person to be high risk from the outset?? On the fourth day of Mr Elliott's dissapearance the poilce did not initiate a single line of enquiry to search for him. It appears they had the intelligence of Mr Cronin's link to Mr Elliott on their own database. Is this acceptable, no matter what other crimes the poilce have to investigate? Many individuals are reported missing, however most surface quickly if they wish to be found, whereas Shaun Elliott did not. There were many signs that this vulnerable man was in serious danger and this case thus begs the question as to why he was not worthy to look for, had he been a business man or someone more upstanding in the community would they have searched for him then? Clara30
  • Score: 0

9:21am Sat 22 Feb 14

Clara30 says...

Mr Cronin should have been culpable for his death as he clearly ignored Mr Elliott's condition. However, the police did not consider Mr Elliott's dissapearance to be of a concern and it appears they judged him as not worthy of their manpower. When you consider Mr Elliott had mental health problems, learning difficulties, suicidal intent and lived in a care home would you not consider this person to be high risk from the outset?? On the fourth day of Mr Elliott's dissapearance the police did not initiate a single line of enquiry to search for him. It appears they possessed the intelligence of Mr Cronin's link to Mr Elliott on their own database. Is this acceptable, no matter what other crimes the poilce have to investigate? Many individuals are reported missing, however most surface quickly if they wish to be found, whereas Shaun Elliott did not. There were many signs that this vulnerable man was in serious danger and this case thus begs the question as to why he was not worthy to look for, had he been a business man or someone more upstanding in the community would they have searched for him then?
Mr Cronin should have been culpable for his death as he clearly ignored Mr Elliott's condition. However, the police did not consider Mr Elliott's dissapearance to be of a concern and it appears they judged him as not worthy of their manpower. When you consider Mr Elliott had mental health problems, learning difficulties, suicidal intent and lived in a care home would you not consider this person to be high risk from the outset?? On the fourth day of Mr Elliott's dissapearance the police did not initiate a single line of enquiry to search for him. It appears they possessed the intelligence of Mr Cronin's link to Mr Elliott on their own database. Is this acceptable, no matter what other crimes the poilce have to investigate? Many individuals are reported missing, however most surface quickly if they wish to be found, whereas Shaun Elliott did not. There were many signs that this vulnerable man was in serious danger and this case thus begs the question as to why he was not worthy to look for, had he been a business man or someone more upstanding in the community would they have searched for him then? Clara30
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree