Police watchdog investigation into Rio Smedley murder to be made public

MURDERED: Rio Smedley

MURDERED: Rio Smedley

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

FINDINGS into how police handled an allegation of assault made by the mother of Rio Smedly are due to be released.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission launched a probe into how GMP handled an assault claim made by Kirsty Smedley, aged 25, against her then partner, Daniel Rigby, aged in March, 2012.

Rigby went on to murder Rio, aged two in April, 2012. He was jailed for life and Smedley was jailed for four years for allowing or causing the death of a child.

An IPCC spokesman said: “The IPCC independently investigated GMP’s handling of an allegation of domestic assault made by Kirsty Smedley against Daniel Rigby in March 2012. The investigation has concluded and we are in the process of preparing our findings for publication.”

Ch Supt Vanessa Jardine, head of GMP’s public protection division, said findings from Bolton Safeguarding Children Board’s serious case review (SCR) published this week, have been taken on board.

She said: “This child's death was a tragedy and the family is suffering immeasurably. We have fully supported the Bolton Child Safeguarding Board’s SCR which has comprehensively examined the involvement of all agencies in this case.

“The review concluded that the tragic death of this young child could not have been predicted or prevented, but did make a number of recommendations about enhancements to current GMP working practices surrounding dealing with domestic abuse cases.

“We have noted these findings and the recommendations made are now being implemented. In 2012 the force introduced a new public protection division, providing teams of highly skilled and experienced officers who are dedicated to investigating crimes against vulnerable people, targeting offenders and supporting victims.

“The aim of this new division is to improve the way we deal with the most vulnerable members of our community, as well as providing improved support to our staff and liaising more closely with other agencies.

“The SCR concluded that there were some missed opportunities by agencies but Rio's death could not have been prevented.”

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