Two Cambs police officers who failed to spot Wisbech widow Una Crown had been murdered guilty of ‘flawed decision making’

Una Crown

Una Crown - Credit: Archant

Two police officers who failed to spot Wisbech widow Una Crown had been murdered have been criticised in a report by the professional standards department of Cambridgeshire police.

Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech. PC Daniel Gardner fixing one of the new posters. Picture: Steve

Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech. PC Daniel Gardner fixing one of the new posters. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Mrs Crown, 86, was found dead at her Magazine Lane home on January 13, 2013 but the officers attending the scene failed to immediately spot she had been repeatedly stabbed and her body burned.

No one has yet been arrested for the murder but a review conducted by police has concluded both officers should have sought further guidance.

An internal review, carried out by Supt Mark Hodgson, head of the professional standards department, said the actions of both officers had “breached the standards of professional behaviour”.

Two complaints were made to the force’s ‘watchdog’ department and an internal investigation was launched.


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Supt Hodgson said both officers “greatly regret” the distress caused to the widow’s family by the failure to spot the murder early on.

“They should have erred on the side of caution and either declared the death suspicious or sought further guidance,” he concluded.

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Among recommendations from the inquiry is for officers to be given further training to prevent any reoccurrence. Supt Hodgson apologised for the “flawed decision making” of the officers involved in the murder inquiry.

Last summer a fresh team of detectives from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit re-launched the investigation in the hope it would lead to a breakthrough in the case.

Officers spent a week in Wisbech carrying out house-to-house enquiries, revisiting witnesses, putting up posters and handing out leaflets appealing for information.

A mobile police station was also be set up in Magazine Lane throughout the week. A fresh picture of Mrs Crown was also released by her family.

Crimestoppers has put up a £10,000 reward for a successful conviction of the killer.

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