A desperate screaming call to 999 by a teenage girl while she and her family were being murdered has come to light.
A report revealed that the call that originated from the house in Pioneer Close, Northampton, on the day of the Royal Wedding was not identified correctly and disseminated to the police by the handler which led the police arriving at the wrong address.
The call had come from the home of University lecturer Jifeng Ding,46, his wife Helen Chui, 47, and their two children Xing,18 and Alice, 12. They were stabbed to death at their house.
Their bodies were not discovered for two days and when they did a world wide hunt was launched for the main suspect Anxiang Du, 52 a former business partner of Helen.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission had conducted an investigation into the way the call was handled and it said in its report that proper checks were not carried out to verify the address by the police. The call was graded as ‘priority’ when it should have been graded as ‘immediate’. And that the call was closed by a control room supervisor without sufficient consideration or effort put forward for the welfare of the caller.
The report said that the standard of handling of the call by the police was not acceptable and that the handler had insufficient training.
IPCC Commissioner Amerdeep Somal said though the findings were looked into against a high volume of emergency calls the police deal with, the investigation found in the instant case that 999 call was badly mishandled.
He said crucial time was wasted due to the goof up where the police visited the wrong address where everything was all right.
In a statement, Northamptonshire police said it recognises the fact that it was unlikely that the lives of the Ding family could have been saved, however there was a possibility that the prime suspect, An Xiang Du, could have been at the address had the call been handled correctly and officers dispatched.