Mother of Nottingham Attacks Victim Criticizes Police for 'Disrespectful' WhatsApp Messages

Emma Webber, mother of Nottingham attack victim Barnaby Webber, condemns 'disrespectful' police WhatsApp messages about her son's injuries, highlighting the need for sensitivity and compassion when communicating about victims.

Mazhar Abbas
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Mother of Nottingham Attacks Victim Criticizes Police for 'Disrespectful' WhatsApp Messages

Nottinghamshire Police Criticized for 'Disrespectful' WhatsApp Messages About Nottingham Attack Victim

Emma Webber, the mother of Barnaby Webber who was killed in the Nottingham attacks in June 2023, has written an open letter criticizing Nottinghamshire Police for posting 'disrespectful' WhatsApp messages about her son's injuries. In the letter addressed to the police officer who posted the message, Webber urged the force to show more compassion and respect when discussing the victims.

The message, which was posted in a police WhatsApp group, described Barnaby Webber as being 'properly butchered' and having his 'innards out'. Webber expressed her disappointment and distress over the 'callous, degrading and desensitised' nature of the communication. "The language used was as barbaric as the crime itself," she wrote.

Webber said the officers' comments caused more trauma for the families and failed to consider the terror and agony the victims experienced. "Your words were physically sick. To read that Barney was 'properly butchered' and that his 'innards were out' has caused more trauma than you can imagine," she stated in the letter.

The Nottinghamshire Police is currently being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the College of Policing over its handling of the case. Two officers involved have been reprimanded, though the details were kept private until the families found out in February 2024.

Why this matters: The incident highlights the importance of sensitivity and compassion from law enforcement when communicating about victims of violent crimes. It also raises questions about the culture and training within police forces to ensure officers maintain respect for victims and their families, even in private communications.

Police Silent on Webber's Letter: Nottinghamshire Police has declined to comment on Webber's letter. The officer who posted the message received a management warning but did not face a misconduct hearing. Webber emphasized that her aim is not to cause undue shame or have anyone publicly vilified, but to reach out and educate, in the hope that her voice might make a difference and prevent similar disrespectful behavior in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Emma Webber criticized Nottinghamshire Police for disrespectful WhatsApp messages about her son's death.
  • The messages described Barnaby Webber as 'properly butchered' with his 'innards out', causing more trauma.
  • Nottinghamshire Police is being investigated by IOPC and College of Policing over the case handling.
  • The officer who posted the message received a management warning but no misconduct hearing.
  • Webber aims to educate and prevent similar disrespectful behavior, not cause public vilification.