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Norfolk Police Chief Addresses Investigation into Tragic Events in Costessey

In the wake of a tragic incident in Costessey on Friday, January 19, where four individuals were found dead at a property in Allan Bedford Crescent, Norfolk’s Chief Constable, Paul Sanford, has affirmed the constabulary’s commitment to transparency and accountability as they face scrutiny over their response.

The bodies were discovered following a call to the police by a concerned member of the public who was worried about the welfare of those inside the property. Police officers arrived at the scene at approximately 7:15 a.m. and, unable to make contact with anyone inside, were compelled to force entry to the residence.

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Disturbingly, it has now come to light that a 999 call had been made by a man inside the property shortly before 6 a.m., but police officers were not dispatched in response to this call. This revelation has prompted the Norfolk Constabulary to refer itself to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) for an investigation. Furthermore, there was a previous police interaction at the same address on December 14, which was related to a missing person inquiry.

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Chief Constable Paul Sanford expressed his condolences and emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “This is a tragic and horrific incident, and my thoughts, and that of the entire constabulary, remain with the family of those involved. I’m aware this incident has also caused great upset and shock in Costessey, the wider community, and beyond.”

Regarding the ongoing investigation, Mr. Sanford was cautious with his words, explaining, “Following the identification of the earlier 999 call, the constabulary referred itself to the IOPC who will now investigate. It is because of this process that I choose my words carefully; not because I don’t want to be open and honest, but because I must protect the integrity of any investigation that needs to follow.”

Police officer speaking outside the station.

The Chief Constable affirmed their commitment to transparency and accountability, stating, “There will, of course, also be an inquest that will review the wider circumstances surrounding the death and the involvement of the police and other agencies. We have thousands of interactions with the public every single day, on the phone and in person. It’s only right that when there are questions about our response, they are properly investigated, and I fully support and welcome this scrutiny.”

Mr. Sanford also shared that the Norfolk Constabulary is already taking proactive steps to review their working practices, independently of the investigation’s outcome. Additionally, the constabulary is currently undergoing a routine inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, which includes an assessment of their response to 999 calls. The Chief Constable has requested that this inspection be expanded to provide additional reassurance to the public and the police force regarding their response to emergency calls.

As investigations continue, the community awaits answers and assurances that such tragic events can be prevented in the future.

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