01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Tragic case of woman killed by stalker highlights need for police to focus on preventing serious crime and protecting public

Tragic case of woman killed by stalker highlights need for police to focus on preventing serious crime and protecting public

girl walking on city street at night


The role of police forces across England and Wales is not focused solely on investigating crimes and holding those responsible to account – it is crucially also about protecting members of the public and preventing serious crime from happening.

We look to our police forces to take appropriate action in circumstances where there could be a threat to our safety, and that means being alert to changing situations, recognising increasing threat and using the powers they have to protect.

Sadly, for 24-year-old Alice Ruggles, Northumbria Police failed to so just that when she called for help.

Concerned for her safety, she reported her former boyfriend Trimaan Dhillon, 26, to the force. He had been bombarding her with text messages, phone calls and unwanted gifts.

In one of the texts he said he was outside her home, and he also made threats to kill himself.

Northumbria Police treated it as harassment – issuing a police information notice (PIN) and warning him that he could be arrested if he contacted Alice again.

Yet when Alice contacted them again, saying she had received a letter and photographs in the post – again no firm action was taken, and Dhillon remained free.

Five days later, Dhillon, a serving soldier, murdered Alice, breaking into her home and cutting her throat. He was jailed for a minimum of 22 years after being convicted of murder in April last year.

Alice’s mother, Dr Sue Hills, has since said that ‘every single indicator was there’ to suggest Dhillon should have been arrested and prosecuted for stalking – and that is something I’d certainly agree with.

There has been a big focus on tackling stalking for in the past few years with new laws introduced.

In December 2016, new protection orders were made available to the police to protect victims at the very earliest possible stage, allowing forces to apply to the courts for an order before a stalking suspect has been convicted or even arrested.

They are powers that recognise somebody who is stalking an individual often cannot control their actions – and are a danger.

Such an order – for a crime which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years – is a clear indication of a police force’s intention, and whilst it may not have prevented the tragic outcome in this case, it would have been a clear marker for both he and officers of the seriousness of the situation.

It has also emerged that when Alice called the force just five days before her death, officers asked her if she wanted Dhillon arrested.

This is something which has quite rightly been criticised by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Guidance states the decision whether to arrest lies with an officer, with the priority the safety of the person involved.

In our work at Hudgell Solicitors we support many people who have been subjected to domestic violence and abuse, and we know that many want to give their attackers another chance.

They often don’t think of their own safety, but still try to protect those who are a risk to them.

It is in these scenarios that we need police officers to spot the dangers, take action and use the many powers available to them.

Therefore it is not a surprise that the IOPC has said two officers have cases of misconduct to answer while in this case, and that another performed unsatisfactorily.

Northumbria Police says ‘lessons have been learned’ and that an improvement plan has been implemented.

But as Alice’s mother also said with regard to the danger Dhillon posed, “the police should’ve known, because it’s their job to know.’

That is the lesson to be learned going forward.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Andrew Petherbridge

Lawyer and Head of Civil Liberties

ap@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Third time lucky thanks to Hudgell!

"I had breast augmentation surgery three years ago for a complex assymetry case. I was… "

Bethanie Hawkins

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful and truly understanding in…

"Very helpful and truly understanding in a very sensitive case would highly recommend to anyone"

Miss Sarah Morris

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly

"Friendly, supportive and professional, couldn't ask for more."

Mr Adrian Fisher

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A first class service with a heart too

"I never had claimed before and was quite apprehensive about dealing with claims solicitors as… "

M Sheikh

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on…

"They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on my own after my experience. They… "

Mrs Melinda Diane Tovey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

The service was excellent and Lauren…

"The service was excellent and Lauren Cartwright kept me well informed and gave good advice… "

Mr Roger Harrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended company

"Excellent service, fully recommended. Efficient communication and reliable."

Mr R Taylor

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell took over my road traffic case…

"Hudgell took over my road traffic case from a different solicitors and successfully negotiated a… "

Mr JSW

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors made my personal…

"Hudgell Solicitors made my personal injury claim so easy, they got me the treatment i… "

Mr Nick Todd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I have never used solicitors before

"I have never used solicitors before, my dealings with Hudgell have been excellent I have… "

David Varley

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful

"Very helpful"

Ethan Ferguson

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 456 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90