Thursday, 1 October 2009

Wednesday 30th September

Today, Kathy, Claire and James are having a second meeting at Kathy's house with a representative of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. I have decided not to attend these meetings as I wasn't involved with the phone calls, etc during the night of Hugh's death and I prefer not to have to deal with James and his anger again.
This time they are informed that there were two witnesses who saw and talked to Hugh at 10.30 on the Wednesday night, which means that the original information, that the neighbours heard him go into his house at around midnight, is probably correct after all.
By that time, Kathy, Claire and Hugh's friend had all phoned the police and had suggested that they go to the house to check if he was there, but sadly, they chose not to do this until 8.30 the following morning and told Claire and Sean that if either of them tried to break in, they would be arrested.
I understand that the people who man the phonelines are not police but civilians and I have no idea what sort of training they receive but I doubt if it is to tell callers in this kind of situation, "Leave it to the police, luv, they know what they're doing."
The enquiry is ongoing and I gather that changes to procedure have been put in place as a result of the way Hugh's case was dealt with, but the question is inevitably raised of whether, had the police acted promptly as a result of the phone calls they received, they would have reached Hugh in time.
Probably no-one will ever know and speculating is self-torture. All we can do is continue to deal with the loss of Hugh, one day at a time.


Daphne said...

As someone involved with Communication Skills training I'd be interested to know what training the people on the phone DO receive - -for they must surely receive SOME. And surely it should be to listen to any anxious-sounding relatives and act accordingly, not to make their own decision on what may or may not be important to follow up fast.

Jennyta said...

I would have thought so, Daphne, but both Claire and Sean found the people on the other end of the phone very patronising and completely lacking in understanding of how worried they both were. Claire said that, from the reaction of the IPCC rep. it seemed as though they had had similar complaints often before.