UK

Police chief ‘horrified’ after officer viewed Nottingham attack footage

Eleven members of staff viewed material relating to the case who did not have a legitimate reason to do so, Nottinghamshire Police have said.

Flowers on the steps of Nottingham Council House
Nottingham city centre incident Flowers on the steps of Nottingham Council House (Peter Byrne/PA)

A chief constable has said she is “horrified” after one of her officers viewed bodycam footage showing the aftermath of the Nottingham attacks.

Nottinghamshire Police’s Kate Meynell told the BBC on Thursday that the actions of a special constable, who viewed footage of officers and paramedics assisting the victims, were “totally unacceptable”.

An investigation found eleven members of staff viewed material relating to the case who did not have a legitimate reason to do so, Nottinghamshire Police have said.

Eight of these members of staff were handed non-disciplinary performance interventions and three faced formal discipline.

Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates were stabbed to death by Valdo Calocane on June 13 2023.

Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar
Valdo Calocane court case Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

The special constable who viewed footage from the scene was sacked in December, another staff member will face misconduct proceedings, and the eight others who had “low-level access” were receiving “standards interventions”.

Ms Meynell said: “This is one of the most brutal and horrific incidents we’ve seen here in Nottingham, in our history.

“There’s lots of things I can’t say. And that’s not because I don’t want to, it’s because there’s the ongoing reviews into what happened.

“There is another case coming up. This relates to the police staff member who we know has access to systems around the offender in this incident.

“This is ongoing, so I can’t say much else. But there is no sharing of images in relation to this individual.”

Superintendent Andrew Reynolds, head of Nottinghamshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “We identified 22 people who had viewed material related to the Nottingham attacks case, also known as Operation Hendrix, which we had concerns about.

“Following our thorough investigation, we narrowed this number down to 11 members of staff who did not have a legitimate reason to view some of the material in this case.

“Eight of these members of staff were handed non-disciplinary performance interventions, which is focused around learning, and three faced formal discipline – one member of staff has been sacked, one handed a final written warning and one is waiting for their misconduct hearing to be heard.

“We have taken these matters extremely seriously. Those who access material without any legitimate policing purpose can expect the harshest of sanctions, including dismissal from the organisation.”

Emma Webber, mother of Barnaby Webber, told LBC on Wednesday: “We are horrified and sickened to know that police personnel would think it’s appropriate to do anything like that.

“I think the words that we’ve used are ‘abhorrent voyeurism’ and I would ask the people who did look at that and share that to have a look at themselves and their own families.”

Ms Meynell said the force had referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over its handling of the disciplinary procedures.

“I’m not going to try and pretend that I feel the same horror as the families,” Ms Meynell said.

“But as chief constable, I do feel horror that some members of my staff have behaved in that way.

“That is why we have dealt with them swiftly.”

Police Constable Matthew Gell was given a final written warning after a misconduct hearing in January heard he shared information about the case in a text message and had breached confidentiality standards.

Mrs Webber said on Wednesday: “We’ve had an apology for us not being informed in advance, and then we had the detail of how seriously they take this, and officers are specially trained, lessons will be learnt.

“But that doesn’t really help with the pain of knowing that people were viewing the bodycam footage of my son in the street and I will never forgive them for that.”