• Monday, May 20, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Bradford murder: Police contact with victim being probed

Habibur Masum (Photo: West Yorkshire Police)

Shajil KumarBy: Shajil Kumar

A POLICE watchdog is examining whether the two forces – West Yorkshire police and Greater Manchester police (GMP) missed any opportunity to protect Kulsuma Akter before she was fatally stabbed in Bradford on April 6 while pushing a pram.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the two forces were being investigated over contact they had with Akter in the weeks before her murder.

IOPC said West Yorkshire Police was on March 28 alerted about the death threats made against Akter. Officers had been deployed following the reported threats and a search was carried out, but no suspect was found, the watchdog added.

IOPC Regional Director Emily Barry said a thorough investigation will be done to understand the nature and extent of the police interaction with Akter.

“This will be carried out entirely independently of the police and will consider whether there may have been any missed opportunities to safeguard her in the days and weeks before she died,” she said.

The watchdog said the evidence reviewed so far indicated information regarding death threats was shared with GMP.

IOPC will now examine what steps were taken to protect Akter and whether GMP made inquiries into any alleged breach of bail.

Habibur Masum, 25, from Burnley, is charged with murdering Akter. He was arrested in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, after a three-day manhunt.

Masum appeared at Bradford Crown Court on April 12 where a provisional trial date was set for November 18. He is also charged with possession of a bladed article.

After the hearing, he was remanded back into custody ahead of a plea and trial preparation hearing on May 10.

Akter’s mother, Monwara Begum, who stays in Bangladesh, told BBC that was “heartbroken” at her daughter’s death. “She was my youngest daughter and I adored her greatly.”

Akter was living in Oldham, Greater Manchester, after arriving in the UK from Bangladesh two years ago along with her husband.

The stabbing took place on April 6 near Westgate in the city centre at about 15:21 BST. The police took her to hospital but she died later. Her baby son was not harmed in the attack.

 

Related Stories