POLICE and crime commissioner David Keane has welcomed government funding to support Cheshire Police in its investigation into a number of baby deaths in the county.
Cheshire Constabulary has been awarded £952,000 by the Home Office to support the investigation into the deaths and non-fatal collapses at the neonatal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospital.
It’s after the Crown Prosecution Service authorised Cheshire Police to charge a 31-year-old healthcare professional in connection with the ongoing investigation in November.
Lucy Letby, of Arran Avenue, Hereford, is facing eight charges of murder and 10 charges of attempted murder. The charges relate to the period of June 2015 to June 2016. The trial is scheduled for January 2022.
After meeting with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies to discuss the need for additional support, the commissioner applied to the Home Office’s Special Grant framework for its support in what he said is an “unprecedented investigation” for Cheshire Constabulary.
Writing to the Commissioner, Policing and Crime Minister Kit Malthouse MP, said: “I am pleased to be able to support this important investigation and I hope that we can be of further assistance in the future.”
PCC David Keane said: “This is an unprecedented investigation for Cheshire Constabulary and I recognise the huge impact it’s had on all of the families, staff, and patients at the hospital as well as members of the wider community.
“I have been assured by the chief constable that the Constabulary has been doing everything it can, as quickly as it can, to investigate what happened.
“This welcome funding from the government will support the Constabulary’s efforts to ensure that the number of bereaved families at the heart of this case get answers as to what happened to their children.”