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The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has found no case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers following the death of a woman in Rochdale.
Tracy Shelvey died after falling from a multi-story car park at the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre on 3 February 2014.
The IPCC’s independent investigation looked at the contact between Ms Shelvey and GMP from 31 January 2014 to the day of her death.
The IPCC has found evidence that a phone call to GMP, by Ms Shelvey, on 31 January 2014 was poorly handled and assessed, resulting in no officers being sent to check on her welfare. Ms Shelvey called again on the same day, and this was handled appropriately, resulting in officers being sent to locate her.
The IPCC recommends supplementary training for a police staff member and an acting sergeant at GMP.
Further evidence showed that only a generic victim support strategy was devised for Tracy Shelvey, despite having been identified as a vulnerable adult. However, the officer assigned to support Ms Shelvey – during criminal proceedings in which she was a witness – used their experience to cater the strategy to try to meet her specific needs.
With regard to the day of Ms Shelvey’s death, the IPCC found GMP had managed the incident effectively. Officers and trained negotiators deployed to the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre took appropriate measures to establish contact with her. The investigator found no evidence to suggest the force could have done anything more to prevent the death of Tracy Shelvey on 3 February 2014.
The IPCC recommends three GMP officers be commended for their professionalism in attempting to assist Ms Shelvey on the day of her death.
“Pennine Care deeply regrets the circumstances that led to this tragic incident. We would like to offer our sincere apologies and sympathy to the family of Tracy Shelvey for their loss and the distress it has caused.
“The Trust has fully co-operated with investigations into Ms Shelvey’s care and treatment.
"We have already made improvements to help reduce the risk of such events happening in the future and will further review our practice in line with the Senior Coroner’s detailed findings.”
“The death of Tracy Shelvey was a tragedy and I offer my condolences to her family.
"At various times from 2001 the council and others provided Tracy with support through drug and alcohol, and housing services.
"Although we fully accept that we should have done more, we note that the coroner has said our failings did not contribute significantly towards Tracy’s death.
"Since February 2014 we have made a number of changes to our systems so that people in similar situations will get a greater level of support and follow-up when there are difficulties with a person engaging with the support services available.
"We will now look at the coroner’s conclusions carefully and make further changes if necessary.”