Mid Wales

Dyfed-Powys Police acted correctly before girl's murder

Chanelle Sasha Jones
Image caption Chanelle Sasha Jones was found with 22 injuries in her father's car

Police acted correctly when searching for a missing girl later murdered by her father, an inquiry has found.

Chanelle Sasha Jones, 17, was killed in Cardigan, Ceredigion, by Gary Fisher, who was later jailed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said Dyfed-Powys Police acted correctly after she was reported missing on 2 August, 2009.

But it also found that previous concerns raised by her mother had not been dealt with properly by officers.

Fisher was jailed for at least 20 years in March.

His daughter, who was also known as Sasha, was found dead in her father's car near Aberaeron, Ceredigion, on 3 August last year after a police operation to stop the vehicle.

She was killed in the car park of the Angel Hotel, Cardigan, but Fisher then drove her body around for 10 hours.

The IPCC inquiry was launched after he was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court.

It also looked at the previous contact Dyfed-Powys Police had with Fisher after it was revealed that Sasha's mother had contacted officers on 102 occasions.

Reports of concerns

The investigation found that four officers had not taken appropriate action in dealing with some of her numerous reports of concerns.

The IPCC said the four constables would be "subject of management intervention for the way they dealt with some of these reports".

Tom Davies, the IPCC commissioner for Wales, said: "Our investigation found that the police acted correctly in how they responded to the report from Sasha's mother that she was missing. As the apparent threat grew the police acted accordingly and managed to trace and stop Fisher's car.

"Unfortunately, Sasha was already dead and it is likely that she had already been murdered when her mother called the police.

"The many times that the force dealt with Sasha's mother with previous interactions were not all carried out in accordance with best practice and policy for dealing with reports of possible domestic abuse.

"This is one of those cases where the force was called out on numerous occasions and there was a tendency for some officers to characterise some of Sasha's mother's concerns and allegations as her 'tending to over-react.'

"In fact one of the police constables dealing with these reports did act, but even though Fisher's police national computer record showed he was wanted for an serious assault elsewhere the officer did fail to act on that information."

Mr Davies said there was no suggestion that these individual errors had any impact on what Fisher went on to do, but he said domestic abuse was a difficult area for the police and it was imperative that officers took allegations "seriously and properly record and act on intelligence reports".

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