'We have lost faith in police bosses': Families of Nottingham attack victims

The mother of Barnaby Webber, who was one of Valdo Calocane’s victims in the Nottingham attacks, says she's “lost faith” in Nottinghamshire Police’s leadership.

Students Barnaby and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, were walking home from an end-of-term night out when they were stabbed by Calocane in Ilkeston Road, Radford, near their student accommodation on June 13 last year.

He then went on to attack caretaker Ian Coates, 65, before stealing his van and crashing it into three pedestrians on June 13 2023.

Emma Webber has today called for the chief constable to step aside while allegations of failings are investigated.She raised concerns after it emerged the son of the force’s boss Kate Meynell was among members of a police WhatsApp group in which graphic details were posted about the killings in Nottingham last year.

The force is being investigated by both the police watchdog the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) and the College of Policing after coming under fire over its handling of the case.

Mrs Webber said: “Kate Meynell has told us her communication with the families has been, and will be, transparent and open.

“Sadly, this is very far from the case, and as such we have lost faith and respect for Nottinghamshire Police leadership.

“We have had in writing that no further answers to our questions will be forthcoming and, therefore, we agree that it may be preferable that during the investigations of the IOPC and College of Policing she steps aside, certainly for interactions with the families of the Nottingham attacks.”

Mrs Webber said the families had concerns about the personal conduct of the chief constable and her judgment in the matter, as well as those of assistant chief constable Rob Griffin and the senior investigating officer in the case, Leigh Sanders.

The families believe there have been “grievous failings in both the management of this investigation and also in alarming failures and missed opportunities in previous contact with Calocane”, she said.

“We wish to ensure a thorough investigation takes place on all aspects of these areas. And if our fears are founded then it must be the case that full individual and organisational accountability happens as a result."

Valdo Calocane Credit: Nottinghamshire Police/PA Media

Calocane was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order last month.

He admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility and pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of three people who were hit by a van stolen from Mr Coates, after Nottingham Crown Court heard he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Prosecutors decided not to pursue murder charges, prompting an outcry of anger from his victims’ relatives.

Attorney General Victoria Prentis has confirmed she will ask the Court of Appeal to review the sentence.

Nottinghamshire Police said it was unable to comment while the probes continued.

The IOPC is still in the process of outlining the scope of its investigation so it is not yet known whether Ms Meynell’s conduct will be considered as part of the probe.

An IOPC spokesman said: “We will be speaking with the families soon about their allegations before we finalise the terms of reference for our inquiries."

An investigation found 11 members of staff viewed material about the case without any legitimate reason for doing so. Three faced disciplinary action but eight were instead handed “performance interventions”.

Last week, Ms Meynell said she was “horrified” after one of her officers viewed bodycam footage showing the aftermath of the attacks. The special constable was sacked in December.

Meanwhile, police constable Matthew Gell was given a final written warning after a misconduct hearing in January found he breached confidentiality standards after sharing information about the case in a text message.

Another staff member is also due to face misconduct proceedings.

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