Derbyshire Police criticised for using screensaver of victims 'let down' by force

13 August 2021, 11:10 | Updated: 13 August 2021, 11:12

The screensaver included images of Helen Hancock and Martin Griffiths
The screensaver included images of Helen Hancock and Martin Griffiths. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

A police force has introduced a computer screensaver showing the faces of four people who have been killed as the chief constable said victims have been "let down".

Reports say Derbyshire Police's Rachel Swann told staff in a video message that "simple errors" had been made and the force's approach was "not acceptable".

The force's branch of the Police Federation said it did not agree with the idea, describing it as detrimental to officers' wellbeing.

Staff found the screensavers on their work computers showing the faces of four people, the BBC and the Telegraph report.

The screensaver opens with the word "vulnerability" which links to the images.

Among them were Helen Hancock and Martin Griffiths, who were murdered in Duffield on New Year's Day in 2020.

Read more: Former head teacher admits murdering his wife and her lover

Graham Snell, who was murdered and cut into pieces by his lodger in Chesterfield in 2019, and Gracie Spinks, who died in Duckmanton in June, were also in the screensaver images.

The BBC said the Independent Office for Police Conduct noted missed opportunities in the case of Mr Snell but concluded nothing could have been done to stop Mrs Hancock's and Mr Griffiths' murder.

The Telegraph said the IOPC is investigating Ms Spinks' case. All four people had been in contact with the force.

Derbyshire's Deputy Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: "Internally, we are currently running a specific week on identifying and addressing vulnerability.

"The objective of this week is to increase awareness and share learning to ensure that we continually improve our services to the public and make sure our staff and officers have access to the latest information and good practice."

But the Derbyshire Police Federation said in a tweet: "Derbyshire Police Federation didn't agree with the use of the photos on Force desktops and met with the Chief Constable and told her directly because of the detrimental impact on the health and wellbeing of some officers and is actually counter-productive in terms of the message."