Police watchdog called in after arson attack

The scene of a fire on Manor Road, Dinnington
The scene of a fire on Manor Road, Dinnington
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The police watchdog has launched an investigation into whether South Yorkshire Police could have done more to help a woman before her home was set alight.

Clare Martin, aged 35, of Manor Road, Dinnington, Rotherham, made contact with the police on a number of occasions before the blaze.

Now the Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking into the contact between the two parties.

An IPCC spokesman said: “Police contact with a woman whose home was targeted in a suspected arson attack is to be investigated.

“The 35-year-old was taken to hospital after being rescued by firefighters following a fire at a house in the Dinnington, on November 1.

“The incident was voluntarily referred to the IPCC by South Yorkshire Police as there had been previous contact between the force and the woman.

“Following an assessment of the material in the referral, the IPCC launched an independent investigation that will examine South Yorkshire Police’s response to a number of calls made to the force.”

IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: “Our investigation will examine the contact between the woman and South Yorkshire Police to ascertain whether the correct procedures and policies were followed, and also whether anything further could have been done prior to the fire.”

Liam Fretwell, 23, of Park Avenue, North Anston, and Carly Waddington, 19, of Rother Crescent, Treeton, have been charged with arson with intent to endanger life and producing cannabis.

n Britain’s most senior police officer Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe could be investigated by the IPCC over the role he played in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.

The watchdog has received a complaint about Sir Bernard, who is the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, relating to his actions when he was on duty as a police inspector at Sheffield Boys’ Club, where families waited for news of loved ones on the day of the football disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 supporters.

Liverpool fans were crushed to death at an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest, played at Hillsborough in 1989.