A VULNERABLE woman was found dead at her home in Dumfries, Scotland, by police more than four hours after they went to the wrong address, an investigation found yesterday.
The probe identified a series of failings in relation to the incident in February last year, including problems with the police’s mapping and control systems.
The police control room at Govan in Glasgow was contacted shortly after 10pm on Friday, February 19, by the woman’s daughter who was concerned for her mother’s safety.
Scotland’s police investigations and review commissioner Kate Frame said the daughter gave a full description and address, but officers were sent to the wrong house.
As a result, at about 10.35pm they roused an 84-year-old woman at the wrong address, failing to notice her name was different from the person they were looking for.
The increasingly worried family of the 52-year-old were told officers had spoken to her and she was safe and well.
But she was found dead of a suspected accidental overdose of prescribed medicine at around 2.40am the following day, after officers finally forced entry to the right house.
Ms Frame’s report raised concerns about the mapping system and “failings in the actions of both area control room staff and the attending officers” and recommended changes.
In a statement, the woman’s family said the past 18 months had been an “incredible strain.”
They welcomed the recommended changes but said: “None of this will bring our mother back but we hope that going forward Police Scotland will look carefully at these recommendations and that valuable lessons have been learned.”
Assistant Chief Constable Nelson Telfer apologised and said improvements had been introduced.