IPCC and Met Police launch investigation into when body parts victim was reported missing

THE Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will supervise an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) into when body parts victim Jeffrey Howe was reported missing. The IPCC has revealed that Mr Howe, 49, was first reported missing

THE Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will supervise an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) into when body parts victim Jeffrey Howe was reported missing.

The IPCC has revealed that Mr Howe, 49, was first reported missing to the MPS at around 7pm on Monday, March 16 and concerns were raised with police on at least four occasions after that.

A murder investigation was launched on March 22 after a leg was found on farmland at the side of the A507 between Baldock and Cottered. Further body parts were found in Wheathampstead, Puckeridge and Standon in Hertfordshire and in Leicestershire over the next month.

On April 22 police confirmed that they belonged to Mr Howe (pictured).

Because Mr Howe had been reported missing to the MPS, their directorate of professional standards undertook a review into the handling of the reports. As a result of the review, the case was referred to the IPCC.

An IPCC investigator assessed the information available and a decision has been taken that the IPCC will supervise the directorate's investigation into the police handling of the missing person reports.

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IPCC regional director for London and the south east Derek Bradon said: "The information we have available to us at this stage is that Mr Howe died on or around March 9, which was before he was actually reported missing. So whatever the police response, it seems they could not have prevented his death.

"Having said that, there are a number of issues in relation to the missing person investigation that do warrant further attention, which is why we have decided to supervise the MPS' own investigation."

A supervised investigation means that the IPCC approves the choice of investigating officer, agrees the terms of reference and the investigation plan, and monitors the progress of the investigation against the plan.

The IPCC adopts a flexible approach to allow the mode of the investigation to change and if during the course of the investigation further information comes to light which causes concern, the level of IPCC involvement would be reassessed.

At this stage, say the IPCC, Mr Howe's family have not submitted a complaint.

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