Operator who ignored emergency keeps job

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The Independent Online

An emergency operator who failed to alert officers when a father called police for help just 15 minutes before he was murdered is to keep her job. The female employee of Lancashire Constabulary was criticised last year for failing to "recognise the seriousness of the situation" when Mohammed Shafiq, 50, appealed for help in trying to break up a gang fight involving his son.

He made the call en route to a park in Burnley, Lancashire, where he tried to act as peacemaker between his son and a man who had waged a bullying vendetta against him. When he arrived, he was hit over the head with an iron bar and stabbed in the chest. A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found the non-emergency call handler was guilty of "individual failings". Lancashire Police said the employee had been given a written warning and an "action plan" to improve performance.

Umar Shafiq, 18, said he had "lost complete confidence" in the police. The Shafiq family have since left their home in Nelson, Lancashire, to move to an undisclosed location in the south of England for fear of repercussions.

Bilal Bhatti, 21, of Burnley, was jailed for at least 18 years at Manchester Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to murder. Shazad Akhtar, 17, of Burnley, who fractured Mr Shafiq's skull, was jailed for six years for manslaughter.

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