Investigation launched into police conduct after body of 29-year-old woman found in Preston

An investigation has been launched into Lancashire Police's handling of a call to a house in Preston where a woman was later found dead.

Monday, 2nd March 2020, 3:53 pm

The 29-year-old's body was discovered at an address on Fir Trees Avenue, Grange, on Sunday, February 16 - around 24 hours after officers were first called to the property.

Three men have since been arrested on suspicion of her murder but have been released pending further inquiries.

It has now emerged that Lancashire Constabulary later referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over the incident.

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Police have confirmedthey received a concern for welfare report the day before the body of a 29-year-old woman was found in Preston.

IOPC officers have assessed the referral and have asked the force to investigate further.

An IOPC spokesman said: “We received a referral, from Lancashire Constabulary, following reports to them concerning the welfare of a woman who was sadly found dead in Preston.

"This has been assessed, and we have decided a local investigation is required. The matter is now with the force.”

Officers were first called to the property after receiving a concern for welfare report at around 11pm on Sunday, February 16.

When police arrived at the scene, the body of a 29-year-old woman was discovered at the address.

Police have now confirmed they had received an earlier concern for welfare report on Saturday, February 15, the day before her body was found.

Officers attended the address but received no answer.

Police forced entry into the address the next day (February 16) following further contact.

When officers entered the property, the body of the woman was found.

The woman has since been formally identified as a 29-year-old woman from Preston.

Her identity has not yet been disclosed by police.

A Home Office post-mortem examination has taken place, but a cause of death yet to be established.

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary added: "We were called at around 9.15pm on Saturday (February 15) to reports of a concern for welfare.

"Officers attended the address but received no answer and following further contact on Sunday (16th) officers again attended and forced entry.

"At this point the woman’s body was sadly discovered.

"The incident was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct as it would be in all such cases and it has been referred back to the constabulary for their consideration, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage."

A 37-year-old man from Blackpool was arrested on suspicion of murder on February 25.

He has since been released under investigation pending further enquires.

It follows the arrest of a 21-year-old man from Rochdale on Friday (February 21) on suspicion of murder.

He was later released under investigation.

A 26-year-old man from Chesterfield also remains under investigation after being arrested on Monday, February 17 on suspicion of murder.

He has since been released pending further enquiries.

Lancashire Police said the murder investigation is 'ongoing' and are urging people who might have information about the woman's death to get in touch immediately.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101, quoting log number 1569 of February 15.