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Police Commissioner: 'sympathy is with the Ruggles family'

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria Police, Vera Baird, has given her response to the Trimaan Dhillon murder conviction.

My sympathy is with the Ruggles family who were kind enough to meet with me yesterday, during a very difficult time.

I'm grateful for their remarks today and as I told them I would be pleased to work with them in future, if that might be helpful as they take forward their intention to raise awareness of stalking and improve responses to it.

When trials are reported what is known after the event is sometimes mixed up with what was known by the police and others beforehand. However, I intend to study in depth the report of the investigation conducted for the IPCC into how Northumbria Police dealt with this case. If there are lessons to be learnt, I will make sure that they are learnt throughout the force.

All officers in Northumbria Police have already been trained in coercive control and stalking but these are complex areas of criminal behaviour and we will revisit that training and carefully consider whether improvements can be made.

Finally, I want to make totally clear that Alice was not to blame for the actions of Dhillon in any way. It is the job of officers to assess the level of dangerousness and risk presented by an individual and to take appropriate action. It is certainly not something that can be expected from a victim.

– Vera Baird DBE QC
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