Five police officers have been served with misconduct notices as part of an ongoing investigation into how Thames Valley Police responded to the disappearance of a former Pendle schoolgirl.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission have today published an update on the Jayden Parkinson inquiry - stating that the conduct of five officers is now under investigation, and that interviews are currently underway.
Former Colne Primet High School student Jayden (17) was reported missing just after midnight on December 4th.
Her body was found in an Oxfordshire grave on December 18th, and now her ex-boyfriend Ben Blakeley (22) has been handed a life imprisonment for her murder.
The IPCC’s ongoing investigation is looking at the force’s actions between December 4th and December 12th 2013.
The IPCC is examining what information was available to the officers who arrested and interviewed Blakeley later on December 4th in connection with an outstanding allegation that he had taken indecent images of Jayden, and whether they were aware that Jayden had been reported missing at that stage. Blakeley was subsequently released on bail.
Having initially been classed as “medium risk”, the IPCC has also established that on December 10th, Jayden was re-categorised as a high risk missing person.
Blakeley was arrested by TVP officers on suspicion of kidnapping Jayden the following day and later released on bail. The missing person investigation was subsequently transferred to the force’s Major Crime Team on December 12th, when Blakeley was arrested on suspicion of murder.
The IPCC is examining what actions were taken in response to Jayden being reported missing between December 4th and 12th, what information was obtained about Jayden or Blakeley and whether the risk assessments were appropriate.
IPCC investigators have also taken a number of statements from both civilian and police witnesses, as part of their enquiries. The force has provided a considerable amount of documentation to the IPCC regarding its contact with Jayden and Blakeley in 2013, and their policies and procedures around missing person reports.
In April 2014, the IPCC investigation was widened to incorporate complaints from Jayden’s mother about her daughter’s contact with TVP in 2013 and whether the responses were appropriate. The investigation is also examining the force’s response to specific concerns about Blakeley and alleged threats made against Jayden, members of her family or other individuals in 2013.
IPCC Associate Commissioner Guido Liguori said: “Jayden’s family continue to go through an incredibly difficult time, and I again offer my condolences to them.
“Now that the murder trial has concluded, we can provide a clearer picture of our investigation and the progress that has been made in recent months in parallel with Thames Valley Police’s criminal investigation.
“As well as examining the individual actions of officers and staff in response to Jayden being reporting missing and whether these were appropriate, our investigation has also been looking at the force’s policies and systems around missing person reports.
“There is still work to do and it is vital that we establish as full a picture as we can as to how the force responded to Jayden being reported missing, and the contact officers and staff had with her and Ben Blakeley in the months before her murder.”