Sussex Police and other forces have an ‘awful lot to learn’, Katy Bourne has said after Michael Lane was today sentenced to 25 years in jail for murdering Shana Grice.
The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner reiterated the force’s apology to Miss Grice’s family after it emerged during the trial that the 19-year-old was fined for ‘wasting police time’ after reporting that she was being stalked by Lane.
Miss Grice was murdered by Lane in her home in Chrisdory Road, Portslade, on Friday August 25, 2016.
Speaking on Thursday, March 23, the day Lane was handed a life sentence at Lewes Crown Court, Mrs Bourne said: “Shana’s murder was a tragedy and my thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.
“Sussex Police has apologised to the family, the recognise that they may not have done the very best that they could, which is why they’ve referred themselves to the Independents Complaints Commission, who are going to look at how Sussex Police dealt with the incidents involving Shana leading up to her murder.
“Sussex Police have reviewed all the aspects of how they deal with cases of stalking and harassment but I want to ensure that those are fully implemented, which is why I’m commissioning HMIC, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, to do a further inspection around how Sussex Police deal with cases of stalking and harassment, which will probably be later in the year.
“A key challenge is supporting front-line police officers to recognise stalking as a serious crime when it’s first described to them, and also it’s important that police must keep victims engaged with stalking investigations to ensure that evidence is secured to support prosecutions where appropriate.
“So there’s an awful lot here for Sussex Police to learn, but police forces nationally as well, how they deal with victims of stalking and harassment.
“This is a hugely serious time, but of course my thoughts remain with Shana’s family.”
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