Watchdog investigates Nottinghamshire Police over contact with killer Valdo Calocane

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The police watchdog is investigating Nottinghamshire Police over the force’s contact with triple killer Valdo Calocane before his brutal stabbing rampage.

The paranoid schizophrenic, 32, was last month sentenced to a hospital order at Nottingham Crown Court after he was convicted of stabbing to death students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both aged 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, in Nottingham in June last year.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announced on Monday that it has launched an investigation into complaints about Nottinghamshire Police’s previous contact with Calocane and the force’s handling of the subsequent murder investigation.

The police watchdog is investigating Nottinghamshire Police over the force’s contact with triple killer Valdo Calocane before his brutal stabbing rampage

(PA Media)

It comes after the watchdog announced last week that it is investigating the contact Leicestershire Police had with the 32-year-old murderer.

The IOPC said its second investigation over the incident follows a voluntary referral by Nottinghamshire Police of complaints the force has received from the victims’ families. The complaints allege there were “flaws in the handling of the murder investigation and missed opportunities by police to prevent the killings”.

The watchdog added allegations have also been made over the force not executing an outstanding warrant for Calocane’s arrest before the fatal attacks, and concerns raised about Nottinghamshire Police’s communication with the families.

Students Barnaby Webber (centre) and Grace O’Malley-Kumar (right), both aged 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65

(PA)

Speaking on behalf of the families, Mr Webber’s mother Emma Webber, from Taunton in Somerset, said: “The failings and our concerns have been well documented, and we now welcome a thorough independent body to look into all points raised.

“We will also ensure that we request the opportunity to meet with the IOPC in person so that we can provide our statements and relevant evidence.”

The IOPC investigations come after a series of failures meant the killer was free to carry out his murderous attack, with Ms Webber, whose son was a student at the University of Nottingham alongside his friend Ms O’Malley-Kumar, accusing police of having “blood on your hands”.

Directing her anger towards Nottinghamshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin in an emotional speech outside court, the distraught mother said: “If you had just done your job properly, there’s a very good chance my beautiful boy would be alive today.”

James Coates, son of Ian Coates, Emma Webber, mother of Barnaby Webber and Dr Sanjoy Kumar, father of Grace O’Malley-Kumar speak to the media in London

(PA)

Mr Griffin admitted in a statement that the force “should have done more” to arrest Calocane before the fatal attacks.

Sir Keir Starmer is among those who have called for a public inquiry, saying it is the “least these families are owed”.

IOPC Director of Operations, Steve Noonan, said: “Our sympathies are with the families of Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar, and Ian Coates, and everyone else affected by the tragic events which took place on June 13 last year.

“We have now decided to investigate complaints made about Nottinghamshire Police’s involvement with Valdo Calocane.

“Along with this, we are investigating the actions and decisions of Leicestershire Police, which we announced last week.”

The Attorney General has ordered an independent review into the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and its decision to accept Calocane’s guilty pleas to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility. A report examining the actions of the CPS will be published on 25 March.