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Murder victim Becky McPhee 'failed by Merseyside Police'
A series of police blunders contributed to the death of a woman who was murdered by her estranged husband after years of domestic abuse. Becky McPhee, 47, was stabbed to death by Paul Holmes in 2012 following "serious failings" by Merseyside Police, the police watchdog said. Over two years, 17 events involving Ms McPhee and Holmes were recorded. The report found a senior officer would have faced a misconduct hearing if he had not already retired. A lack of a coordinated response and leadership meant that opportunities to take more preventative action against Holmes were missed, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found. Incidents reported to the police between 12 January 2010 and 5 January 2012 included an assault where Ms McPhee said she believed it was only a matter of time before she was killed. Holmes was arrested a number of times and measures were put in place to protect Ms McPhee but Merseyside Police's responses to his repeated breaches of bail conditions were "ineffective and uncoordinated", the report said.
Saqib Hussein jailed for Hall Green fatal supercar crash
A driver who caused a crash that killed a 49-year-old woman and seriously injured her sister while at the wheel of a hired supercar has been jailed. Saqib Hussain, 25, who was driving an Audi R8 Spyder at 76mph, crashed in a 30mph zone in Birmingham in August 2013, West Midlands Police said. Hussain, of Acocks Green, hit a Ford Fiesta, killing passenger Noreen Ryan, Birmingham Crown Court heard. He admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to six years. A passenger in the Audi was also hurt in the collision in Shaftmoor Lane on 26 August. Hussain, of Alexander Road, initially fled the scene but later handed himself into police.
Staffordshire Police calls problems blame on staff shortages
A lack of staff is to blame for Staffordshire Police taking nearly twice as long to answer phone calls from the public, the force has said. New figures show people who called the 101 non-emergency number in July waited on average for two minutes, an increase of 45 seconds from three months ago. The force also answered just 78% of 999 calls in July within 10 seconds. Its expected target is 90%. It said it was employing 35 more staff and upgrading its call handling system. Staffordshire Police closed its control room at Hanley Police Station earlier this month.
Avon and Somerset Police open multimillion-pound Bridgwater custody suites
A new multimillion-pound police centre has been opened in Somerset. The 36-cell facility in Bridgwater replaces smaller centres in Taunton and Weston-super-Mare which have been shut. The 24/7 centre, which includes office space for 700 staff, a roof garden and a police inquiries desk, is expected to process about 9,000 detainees a year. Assistant Chief Constable Kay Wozniak said: "We believe these will be the best custody facilities that policing can offer." The building, along with two 48-cell facilities in Keynsham and Patchway, replace 10 custody suites across the region and will increase the force's "custody capacity" by 27%.
Wiltshire chief constable Patrick Geenty faces IPCC probe
The chief constable of Wiltshire Police is being investigated over the way he handled complaints relating to allegations of sexual abuse. The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it was investigating Patrick Geenty, as well as an inspector and detective constable from the force. It is alleged they withheld information from complainants about the extent of the force's failings in dealing with the sexual abuse claims. It relates to an inquiry in 2008-09. Mr Geenty, who was assistant chief constable at that time, said he was "shocked by the allegation that I attempted to mislead a complainant". He said: "I welcome an open and transparent investigation and the public deserve no less.
PCC Shaun Wright resigns over Rotherham child abuse scandal
South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright has resigned over the Rotherham child abuse scandal. Mr Wright faced repeated calls to step down in the wake of a report which found at least 1,400 children were abused in the town from 1997 to 2013. He was the head of children's services in Rotherham between 2005 and 2010. Mr Wright said he was stepping down to ensure the "important issues" outlined in the report could be discussed and considered "without distraction".