Investigation begins into allegations of bullying at West Yorkshire Police
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating allegations a student officer at West Yorkshire Police (WYP) was subject to bullying at work prior to his death.
We received a referral from the force on 9 March of a complaint, which alleged bullying was a factor in the death of PC Anugrah Abraham, known as Anu, who was found in the Radcliffe area of Bury on 4 March.
On 14 March, we decided a local investigation was required and directed WYP to investigate the complaint. This was in line with our view that, normally, investigations relating to how forces treat and support the welfare and wellbeing of their employees should be investigated by the relevant professional standards department.
The complainant was informed they would have the right to have the IOPC review the force’s handling of the matter on conclusion of that investigation should they be unsatisfied with the outcome.
However, in light of requests for us to reconsider our decision, including from both PC Abraham’s family and the Chief Constable of WYP, we have now determined that the matter will be independently investigated.
IOPC Regional Director Emily Barry said: “Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of Anu, as well as all those affected by his death.
“Having carefully considered representations made to us on this matter, we have determined it is now in the public interest for us to independently investigate these serious allegations.
“We have contacted Anu’s family, and WYP, to make them aware of our decision.”
We also received a mandatory referral from Greater Manchester Police due to the fact PC Abraham had been reported missing to the force on 3 March. Following a detailed assessment of the available information, we identified evidence of positive action taken by the force to locate him after they were made aware he was missing.
In light of this, and in the absence of any concern that action by anyone serving with GMP may have caused or contributed to his death, we determined independent oversight or investigation by the IOPC was not required and on 9 March returned the matter to GMP to deal with in a proportionate manner.