IOPC to investigate West Yorkshire Police and Greater Manchester Police contact with Kulsuma Akter prior to her death

Published: 19 Apr 2024

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has begun an investigation into contact West Yorkshire Police (WYP) and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had with Kulsuma Akter in the weeks before she was fatally stabbed in Bradford.

Our investigation follows referrals from both forces after the death of Ms Akter in the Westgate area of Bradford on Saturday 6 April. Police launched a national manhunt for Habibur Masum, who was wanted in connection with Ms Akter’s tragic death. He was arrested by officers in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and has appeared in court charged with her murder.

We have been informed that WYP were contacted on 28 March 2024, when it was reported Ms Akter had received death threats, and officers were deployed. A search was carried out by the officers in attendance but no suspect was found.

Evidence we have reviewed so far indicates information was shared with GMP around this time and our investigation will include looking at what was known about any alleged breach of bail, and the subsequent police response, including what steps were taken to safeguard her.

Our independent investigation will look at the nature of the police contact with Ms Akter prior to her death, as well as the actions and decision-making of those involved.

IOPC Regional Director Emily Barry said: “Our thoughts are with Ms Akter’s family and friends, who have lost a loved one in tragic circumstances, as well as all those affected by this deeply distressing incident. I would like to acknowledge and thank members of the public who were present at the scene and who tried to assist Ms Akter. 

“It is only right that a thorough investigation takes place to understand the nature and extent of the police interaction with Ms Akter.

“This will be carried out entirely independently of the police and will consider whether there may have been any missed opportunities to safeguard her in the days and weeks before she died.

“We have met with Ms Akter’s family members to explain our role and update them on our investigation. We will continue to update them as our investigation continues.”

  • Greater Manchester Police
  • West Yorkshire Police
  • Death and serious injury