Police radio operators face misconduct probe over calls about murdered teenager

Three police radio operators could face a misconduct probe over their actions before the body of a murdered 18-year-old student was discovered.

Student Ellen Higginbottom was snatched in broad daylight by prowler Mark Buckley, 52, as she walked alone in Orrell Water Park in Wigan on June 16.

Her family raised the alarm when she did not return home and her body was found in the beauty spot in the early hours of the following day.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation is looking at the response by Greater Manchester Police to the missing person report and their actions up until the discovery of Miss Higginbottom's body.

Mark Buckley admitted to murdering Ellen Higginbottom Credit: GMP

The IPCC stated that, based on the evidence collected so far, its lead investigator had decided there was "an indication of misconduct" by three radio operators, who have been notified.

Interviews with key police witnesses will also take place over the coming weeks, added the watchdog.

The investigation is making good progress. I would like to thank Ellen's family for their continued assistance with this investigation. We are providing them with regular updates and our thoughts remain with them as we continue our work.

IPCC commission delegate Andy Riley

Last month, Buckley was jailed for life at Manchester Crown Court and told he must serve a minimum of 31 years for the savage and brutal attack which the sentencing judge described as "frankly chilling".