Two to receive written warnings over police handling of Georgia Williams's murderer Jamie Reynolds

One West Mercia Police officer and a member of civilian staff are to receive written warnings and two officers will receive management advice following an investigation into West Mercia Police force's handling of Jamie Reynolds before he killed Georgia Williams.

Jamie Reynolds
Jamie Reynolds

Misconduct meetings held with four officers and one member of police staff showed that mistakes were made in the attention to detail, efficiency, supervision and management control of officers.

However, the report says that the errors did not relate to wider issues of safeguarding and there was no identifiable link between officers' actions in 2008 and Georgia's murder in 2013.

Georgia's parents, Steve and Lynnette Williams, have now called for a "totally independent" police complaints system.

They said: "We have known for a long time that the consequences for these officers would by no means 'fit the crime'.

Georgia Williams
Georgia Williams

"What has happened is that the officers concerned have been shown to be incompetent at all ranks.

"We take this as a moral victory on behalf of Georgia, because that is what this was all about.

"It was also about a group of officers who all came together in numbers and all make the wrong decisions.

"Georgia died because the suspect had more rights than the victims."

Speaking about the misconduct proceedings, Chief Constable David Shaw said: "These outcomes are the culmination of a meticulous investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police, review by the IPCC and now these misconduct procedures.

"I have made a heartfelt apology to Georgia's parents and to victims of Jamie Reynolds for the errors that West Mercia Police made. Our thoughts have remained with them throughout this process and we have strived to work with them to seek and provide answers to their understandable questions.

"As a police service we have been deeply shaken by Georgia's murder and it is vitally important that we take what has been learnt and reinforce it across the whole organisation. We have already made significant changes to our working practices but we are determined that it does not end here. We will not stop in our commitment to ensuring every member of our workforce has the right tools and support needed to ensure that, with our partners, everything feasible is done to protect people from harm."

Steve and Lynnette Williams
Steve and Lynnette Williams

The meetings, which took place behind closed doors, were held following an independent investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police called Operation Columbia and a subsequent appeal by the victims to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The appeal had called for stronger measures to be taken against some of those involved and resulted in an extra officer being asked to attend a meeting.

The IPCC determined that the matter should be subject of a local investigation but West Mercia Police has said it felt it was essential that the investigation was conducted independently and as such asked Devon and Cornwall Police to conduct the inquiries.

The investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police and subsequent IPCC appeals process determined that there was a case to answer and that misconduct meetings should take place.

The meetings were held to review the investigation report and decide whether the standards of individual officers and staff fell below the force's Standards of Professional Behaviour. The maximum potential outcome for a misconduct meeting is a final written warning, though none of the officers in this case have been given that action.

These meetings were conducted by Superintendent Mark Travis and took place on both November 4 - for the officers - and November 24 for the police staff.

The Devon and Cornwall Police Operation Columbia investigation report which led to these meetings has now also been released.

In October this year Telford and Wrekin Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) agencies, including West Mercia Police, public ally released a Discretionary Serious Case Review (DSCR) into all agencies involvement in previous incidents involving Reynolds.

A number of changes were made to the way the agencies operate, following the investigation.

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