Recommendation - Greater Manchester Police, September 2022
We identified organisational learning from a death or serious injury review.
Police received a 'concern for welfare' call in relation to a man who had been in recent contact with the police. The man was found dead the following day. Due to the different spelling of the man's name, previous incidents were not linked, including a warning marker for the man's address.
The IOPC recommends that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) implement call handling systems or processes which ensure that where a name can be spelt in different ways, records in relation to that person are still identified.
This follows an IOPC review of a DSI investigation where a man's name was spelt differently following police attendance at two different incidents. This meant that warning markers were not 'copied over' from one incident to another. These warning markers were relevant in regard to the man's safety.
GMP may wish to consider the implementation of a computer system that can perform a 'cross-check' for similar spelt names or they may wish to consider a prompt that ensures address checks are always undertaken, as well as name checks, either automatically or by the call handler.
This should prevent a similar occurrence happening again.
Recommendation not accepted:
The IT system Controlworks (CW) is used when the call handler creates a Record of contact (ROC) on the system once a call is received. This ROC is created on the address not the individual the call is about. Therefore all of the associated information including the names will come up on the system for this address.
Once the address of xxxx Street was placed on the ROC the names of all the associates for that street are populated onto the system. The main record for xxxx has a record which is PER/xxxx/20 with the associated marker that this person is now deceased. Therefore we are satisfied that this is the same individual. However, also on the same record if you select the tab – associated searches (which all Call handlers or dispatcher should do) the name xxxx with the address of xxxx Street is also on the system with the associated markers. This information is all on the log xxxx. Therefore the conclusion is that this is the same individual. The record is under NOM/xxxx/75866, the marker NOM is always the main record for any individual in the system and the PER is a duplicate or replica record.
Therefore in conclusion the record on the system can be identified and there is no requirement for any changes to police systems to be made.