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Missing Essex woman found after two days in her garage

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image captionTwo officers were tasked to search the property but only searched the bedroom, the IOPC said

A missing woman was found unconscious with hypothermia in her garage two days after officers searched for her at the property, a police watchdog said.

Two Essex Police officers attended the woman's house after her son reported her missing on 8 March 2019.

The officers "undertook a brief search but did not look in all the rooms or garage", the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

The IOPC recommended the force "review its relevant policies and procedures".

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said one PC received management action but there was no misconduct case to answer for any of the officers involved.

'In hospital for weeks'

The woman's son called 999 to report that his mother had not returned home. After 90 minutes had passed, the acting inspector assigned the call as a missing person investigation, the IOPC said.

"Two officers attended the house, met with the son, and undertook a brief search, but did not look in all the rooms or garage.

"[The woman] was found two days later in the garage, where she was unconscious with hypothermia."

The IOPC said the woman was in hospital "for a number of weeks" but has since recovered.

The watchdog said the officers were tasked by the force control room to search the property but the duty sergeant was not made aware.

Only the bedroom was searched but the officers noted in police records that the house was searched.

The IOPC did not state where in Essex the incident happened.

It recommended the force should "ensure that there is a process for the duty sergeant to be notified when officers have been tasked to undertake actions in a missing person report".

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: "Following the IOPC investigation and recommendations of sanction one PC received management action although there was no misconduct case to answer for any of the three officers involved.

"The report found the limited search was the product of inexperience as opposed to wilful neglect of duty."

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Related Topics

  • Essex Police
  • Missing people
  • Independent Office for Police Conduct

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