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Police chief calls for ‘deeper review’ into force over call before bodies found

A police chief has called for a “deeper review” into his own force amid concerns after officers did not respond to a 999 call from a home where four people were later found dead.

Norfolk’s Chief Constable, Paul Sanford, has asked His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, which is already carrying out a routine inspection of Norfolk Police, to conduct a “deeper review” after two young girls, a man and a woman were found dead in a house.

The bodies of four members of the same family – including a man, 45, and a 36-year-old woman – were discovered at an address in Costessey, near Norwich, on Friday morning.

The man has been named in reports as Bartlomiej Kuczynski.

Floral tributes left near a house in Costessey near Norwich after four people were found dead inside the property.
Floral tributes left near a house in Costessey (Sam Russell/PA)

A man called 999 from the property on Allan Bedford Crescent at around 6am that day, but police were not dispatched there.

Officers made the discovery about an hour and 15 minutes later after a member of the public alerted them at around 7am.

The force has referred itself to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) in relation to the earlier 999 call and previous contact at the address on December 14 which was in relation to a missing person enquiry.

The force is not looking for anyone else in connection with the tragedy.

Now the chief constable has said he requested the deeper review “to provide the reassurance that the public and I need in our response to emergency calls”.

Police outside a house in Costessey near Norwich after four people were found dead inside the property.
Police outside a house in Costessey near Norwich after four people were found dead inside the property (Joe Giddens/PA)

Mr Sanford said: “This is a tragic and horrific incident and my thoughts, and that of the entire constabulary, remain with the family of those involved.

“I’m aware this incident has also caused great upset and shock in Costessey, the wider community and beyond.

“Following the identification of the earlier 999 call, the constabulary referred itself to the IOPC who will now investigate. It is because of this process that I choose my words carefully; not because I don’t want to be open and honest, but because I have a duty to protect the integrity of any investigation that needs to follow.

“It will be for this investigation to identify and consider the circumstances and to consider if there were any issues with the response.

“I know the family and the public will rightly want to know whether there was an ability to prevent this tragedy, and this is a question that must be answered.

“However, at this stage, I cannot answer that question. What I can say is that we will be open and honest in the days, weeks, and months ahead, to get the answers to this question.

A forensic investigator outside a house in Costessey near Norwich after four people were found dead inside the property.
A forensic investigator outside a house in Costessey (Joe Giddens/PA)

“There will, of course, also be an inquest that will review the wider circumstances surrounding the death and the involvement of the police and other agencies.

“We have thousands of interactions with the public every single day, on the phone and in person. It’s only right that when there are questions about our response, they are properly investigated, and I fully support and welcome this scrutiny.

“I will not wait for the outcome of this investigation to review our working practices and that process has started.

“Furthermore, the constabulary is currently undergoing a routine inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services. That inspection includes an assessment of our response to 999 calls.

“Today, I have asked the inspectorate to consider undertaking a deeper review than the robust inspection already planned, to provide the reassurance that the public and I need in our response to emergency calls.”

Floral tributes, and two unicorn toys, have been left near the house with one of the children described as a “sweet, caring girl” who was always smiling.

Post-mortem examinations carried out on Sunday found the 45-year-old man died of a stab wound to the neck, while the 36-year-old woman died of a number of stab wounds to the neck.

The bodies of the two girls will be examined on Wednesday.

Detectives said the man and two children lived at the address, but the woman was visiting and lived elsewhere.

All four were found with injuries.