Families of Nottingham attack victims say police boss is ‘hiding away’ from them

‘Why can she not just pick up the phone?’

The son of Ian Coates has accused Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable of “hiding away behind emails” from the families of the victims killed in the attacks last June.

65-year-old school caretaker Ian Coates was one of three victims of Valdo Calocane’s fatal attacks last June, with University of Nottingham students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, also being killed.

After stealing Ian’s van, Calocane then attempted to run three other people over with it. He has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility as well as three counts of attempted murder.

Ian’s son James has now accused Chief Constable Kate Meynell of “hiding away behind emails”, and asking: “Why can she not just pick up the phone?”, reports Nottinghamshire Live.

This comes after the victims’ families have slammed three local agencies for their handling before and after the case. Local mental healthcare services who treated Calocane are set to be reviewed after an order from the health secretary, as is the Crown Prosecution service, after it came out that there was a warrant out for Calocane’s arrest nine months prior to the attacks last June.

Ian’s son has reiterated calls for the Chief Constable to step aside: “I do respect the police and we’re not calling for them to be dismantled, but more could have been done and Kate Meynell was in charge – so someone else should be given a chance to change things and make them better.”

The Chief Constable has allegedly offered to meet the families in person, but has declined to answer further questions on police conduct.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) is currently running an investigation into the force for their handling of the investigation following Calocane’s stabbings, its previous interactions with the killer, and its failure to catch him during a nine-month period when he was subject to an arrest warrant.

“When I was younger you knew the police were there to help, but it doesn’t feel like they have been there for us,” said Mr Coates.

The family of Barnaby Webber called for a public inquiry into the “multi-agency failures” that led to their son’s death, after saying they were “disappointed” with Calocane’s sentence to an indefinite hospital order.

Grace O’Malley-Kumar’s family revealed that a toxicology report was done on her and Burnaby’s bodies, but not on Calocane following the attacks.

“We [the Coates family] would have fought as hard as we could to get answers over dad’s death if we were on our own, but I don’t think we would have got this far without the Webbers and the O’Malley-Kumars,” he said.

“We feel that Valdo [Calocane] picked the wrong people.”

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