DAA News Network

UK: Police accept failures in Pilkington case but say Fiona partly to blame

Posted 26/10-09 at 22.58

As reported on our website, following the Coroner's hearing into the deaths of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter, Leicestershire Police Authority convened a special meeting on October 13th to receive a report from the Constabulary.

At the meeting the Chief Constable offered his report of the events leading up to the deaths. He also set out at some length what was being done to ensure hate crimes would be more effectively indentified and the victims supported.

The key finding of the police review was that the ‘... failure to recognise that the victimisation was related to disability resulted in the hate crime policy not being adhered to." This came about because the reported incidents were not linked, information about offenders was not shared between different agencies and disability was not identified as an issue. They also say that Fiona herself was partly to blame because she refused to pursue a criminal prosecution against her family's tormentors. (See comment below)

The full police report can be downloaded at:


The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is also to investigate the case. IPCC Commissioner Amerdeep Somal said they would be examining, "how seriously the police responded to her calls for help, whether the action was appropriate and what actions they did or did not take".


The Equality And Human Rights Commission is to ask Hinckley and Bosworth Council to provide evidence it is compliant with its legal duty to eliminate disability-related harassment. It will also be contacting the Independent Police Complaints Commission to find out the scope of its inquiry before deciding whether to take any further action.


Editorial comment: The police's multiple failures in this case are clear from their own report. But the attempt to shift some of the responsibility onto Fiona is outrageous. As the police must know, someone who is vulnerable, terrified and living under siege from their neighbours is unlikely, without a great deal of support, to want to enter into the lengthy and complex process of a criminal prosecution. As she had been given no real protection, despite her previous complaints to the police, what was Fiona to expect from such a move but more harassment? Apparently, the Leicestershire police still don't get it!


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