IOPC starts investigation into Norfolk Constabulary after four bodies found at house

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has confirmed it has started an investigation into the contact Norfolk Constabulary with a man prior to his death and the deaths of three others in a house in Costessey, near Norwich.

Jan 23, 2024
By Paul Jacques

Norfolk Constabulary referred itself to the IOPC after four bodies were found at the house on Friday (January 19).

A 999 call was made from a man at the address who “expressed concerns for his own mental state” prior to the incident but officers were not deployed.

Norfolk Constabulary confirmed there was also “police contact” at the same address in December, relating to a missing person inquiry.

The bodies of two young girls, a 36-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man, were found in the house on Allan Bedford Crescent on Friday morning.

Detectives investigating the deaths of the four people have confirmed two died as a result of stab wounds.

In a statement, Norfolk Constabulary said: “Subject to formal identification taking place and confirmation at formal inquest proceedings, the four people have been provisionally identified as: Bartlomiej Kuczynski, aged 45; Kanticha Sukpengpanao, aged 36; Jasmin Kuczynska , aged 12; and Natasha Kuczynska, aged nine.”

The bodies were found after a member of the public raised concerns for the welfare of the people inside.

Home Office post-mortem examinations were carried out for the man and woman on Sunday (January 21).

The 36-year-old woman and 45-year-old man both died as a result of stab wounds to the neck.

Post-mortem examinations for the two girls will be carried out on Wednesday (January 24).

Following extensive inquiries, detectives said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

IOPC regional director Charmaine Arbouin said: “We can confirm that we have started an independent investigation into the contact Norfolk Constabulary had with a man prior to his death and the deaths of three others in a house in Costessey, near Norwich.

“Norfolk Constabulary established that the man had made a 999 call to the force shortly before 6am on January 19.

“During that call the man expressed concerns for his own mental state saying he was confused. He was advised to seek medical advice and police did not attend.

“At around 7am the force received a call from a dog walker concerned for the welfare of those within the home.

“Officers attended shortly after and, tragically, found the man, a woman and two children dead.

“Following a mandatory referral from the force we have decided to investigate and will be examining if the force’s handling of the contact they had with the man was appropriate and in line with force policy, training and procedures.

“We will be making contact with the families of the deceased to explain our role.

“Our sympathies are with the families and friends of the deceased and all those affected by this incident.”

Norfolk Constabulary’s Chief Constable Paul 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.

“There will, of course, also be an inquest that will review the wider circumstances surrounding the deaths 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.

“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.”

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