Misconduct probe in connection with Ellen Higginbottom murder investigation

Ellen Higginbottom
Ellen Higginbottom

Three police radio operators are under investigation for alleged misconduct in connection with the disappearance and murder of Wigan student Ellen Higginbottom.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission launched a probe into officers’ actions after the 18-year-old vanished earlier this year.

Police at the scene near to where Ellen's body was found

Police at the scene near to where Ellen's body was found

This is standard practice when someone reported missing is later found murdered or seriously injured.

And on Wednesday the commission issued an update stating that it is looking at the response by Greater Manchester Police to the missing person report and their actions up until the discovery of Ellen’s body at Orrell Water Park the following day.

Based on the evidence collected so far, the IPCC lead investigator has decided there is an indication of misconduct by three radio operators at GMP. They have been notified.

Interviews with key police witnesses will also take place over the coming weeks.

IPCC commission delegate Andy Riley said: “The investigation is making good progress. I would like to thank Ellen’s family for their continued assistance with this investigation. We are providing them with regular updates, and our thoughts remain with them as we continue our work.”

Ellen was reported missing after she failed to arrive home from Winstanley college on June 16. Her body was found at the water park in the early hours of the next day after a police search.

Mark Buckley, 51, was jailed for life for her murder on September 14.

Misconduct notices do not imply guilt but are to inform officers or police staff that their conduct is under investigation and the level of severity.

Greater Manchester Police declined to comment on the development, saying it would be inappropriate while the IPCC inquiry was still ongoing.