Two police forces to be investigated over contact with mother before stabbing

Two police forces are being investigated over contact they had with a mother who was stabbed to death as she pushed her baby in a pram.

Habibur Masum, 25, is charged with murdering Kulsuma Akter, 27, who was attacked in Bradford on April 6.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said West Yorkshire Police (WYP) was contacted on March 28 this year, when it was reported Ms Akter had received death threats.

Evidence the watchdog had reviewed suggested officers also shared information with Greater Manchester Police following the report.

The investigation will look into the decision-making of police officers, including what steps were taken to safeguard Ms Akter.

Emily Barry of the IOPC said: “Our thoughts are with Ms Akter’s family and friends, who have lost a loved one in tragic circumstances, as well as all those affected by this deeply distressing incident. I would like to acknowledge and thank members of the public who were present at the scene and who tried to assist Ms Akter.

“It is only right that a thorough investigation takes place to understand the nature and extent of the police interaction with Ms Akter.

“This will be carried out entirely independently of the police and will consider whether there may have been any missed opportunities to safeguard her in the days and weeks before she died.

“We have met with Ms Akter’s family members to explain our role and update them on our investigation. We will continue to update them as our investigation continues.”

Bradford city centre stabbing
Floral tributes left in Bradford city centre after Kulsuma Akter was stabbed to death in the street as she pushed her baby in a pram (Dave Higgens/PA)

Ms Akter was taken to hospital after being stabbed several times as she pushed her baby in a pram through the city centre.

Masum, of Leamington Avenue, Burnley, was subsequently charged with her murder after he was arrested in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, following a four-day manhunt.

He is also charged with possession of a bladed article.

At Bradford Crown Court earlier this month, Judge Jonathan Rose set a provisional trial date of November 18, with a time estimate of two weeks.