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Thames Valley Police dismiss call-handler after woman raped

Female caller "in danger" was cut off, hearing reveals

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

Email:

chris.ord@newburynews.co.uk

police

A THAMES Valley Police call handler has been dismissed for terminating a call from a distressed member of the public who was later raped.

Ms Gail Daniels-Ekarte was dismissed without notice following a gross misconduct hearing last Wednesday (August 10).

In December 2013, a 999 call came in from a vulnerable member of the public which was taken by Ms Daniels-Ekarte who was working as a control room call handler.

The caller was a female reporting she was in danger.

After five-and-a-half minutes the call was terminated by the call handler and no resources were deployed.

Later that day, Thames Valley Police received a further call reporting that the woman had been raped.

At the hearing it was found that Ms Daniels-Ekarte failed to deal with the call appropriately and did not follow TVP policies and guidelines.

The hearing was as a result of Thames Valley Police referring the matter to the IPCC.

A subsequent IPCC investigation recommended there was a case to answer for gross misconduct.

Following a subsequent Thames Valley Police investigation 40-year-old Ruzgas Ziluina of Odessa Road, London, was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for one count of rape and placed on the sexual offenders register.

Head of Operations for Thames Valley Police, assistant chief constable Dave Hardcastle, said: "We have dismissed a member of staff as they failed to respond appropriately to what was a clear call for help from a member of the public.

"At Thames Valley Police we expect the highest of standards from our staff and officers. Sadly the individual's actions in this case fell very far below the standard of what we expect."

Ms Daniels-Ekarte has a right to appeal this decision.

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