Police complaints ruling on Birmingham death

Police response followed policy before missing man found murdered.

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct concluded that police dealt with calls about a missing Birmingham man in line with their policies and procedures before he was found stabbed to death.

West Midlands Police officers found the body of 34-year-old Zafran Nawaz in an outbuilding at a house in Carlton Road, Bordesley Green, on 22nd May 2015. His killer, Akbar Khan, was jailed for life for the murder when he appeared before Birmingham Crown Court in December that year.

Mr Nawaz made an anonymous 999-call to police at around noon on 20th May, saying he had been stabbed. Although officers were unable to immediately ascertain the location of the caller they were able to narrow it down to Carlton Road. Officers attended and visited a number of properties there but found no signs of violence, disorder or suspicious activity.

Later that day Mrs Nawaz made the first of several reports to police that her husband was missing. Information provided by her and further police enquiries led to officers upgrading Mr Nawaz’s missing person status to ‘high risk’ and returning to Carlton Road with search warrants on 22n d May when the murder was discovered.

IOPC Regional Director, Derrick Campbell, said: “My thoughts are with Zafran’s family and friends, and everyone else affected by this terrible incident. While his killer was convicted of murder it was important that there was independent scrutiny of the actions taken by police after Zafran was reported missing.

“Our investigator concluded that officers acted in accordance with relevant policies and procedures, reacted to emerging evidence and information. This led to them identifying the address where Zafran was eventually found.”

The IOPC’s investigation considered the police response to the 999-call and the subsequent missing person reports. All officers were treated as witnesses during the investigation.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission became the Independent Office for Police Conduct on 8th January 2018, after the IPCC asked for changes to the organisation’s structure following a major expansion of its work.