Met Police slammed by coroner after death of woman at Bethnal Green station
PUBLISHED: 10:37 19 February 2019
The details of a missing woman who went on to jump in front of a train went unchecked by police because they couldn't access the information, an inquest heard.
Despite Rosario Cordero-Sanz being deemed a ‘high risk’ missing person, officers were unable to check their records about her because they didn’t have tablets or a computer.
The 35-year-old, known as Charo, died of multiple injuries and blunt force trauma at Bethnal Green underground station on July 14 last year.
She was reported missing three days before after concerns for her welfare grew.
On July 13 she returned to friends who called the police which sent three special officers to see her.
But after the Met volunteers left she ran away again before jumping in front of the train.
On Monday St Pancras senior coroner, Mary Hassell, criticised the police and issued a prevention of future deaths report following Ms Cordero-Sanz’s inquest.
The inquest jury heard all the officers didn’t understand much about the missing persons process with only one knowing about powers allowing police to take a person with poor mental health to a safe place.
The report states the special officers didn’t consider using a translation service to help communicate with one of Ms Cordero-Sanz’s friends, which might have revealed that she was hearing voices.
It states officers did not insist on seeing her or call for a plain clothes colleague after being told their uniforms would upset her.
And no one except the person who took the 999 call thought of getting an ambulance, the report states.
It goes on to say: “The three special police officers who attended were described as kind, and clearly demonstrated concern, but ultimately they did not know that they were dealing with a high risk missing person.
“Without tablets or a mobile data terminal, they had no means of checking.”
The jury also found the special sergeant and call operator weren’t listening to each other missing an opportunity to identify her as high risk.
Ms Hassell states: “I wonder whether this suggests a training need or whether consideration could be given to teaming special officers with regulars.”
A Met spokesman said: “Ms Cordero-Sanz’s death was tragic and untimely. Our thoughts remain with her family and loved ones.”
He added steps have been taken to improve specials’ training and supervision around missing people with individual “failings” addressed.