THE police are set to be investigated over the contact they had with Alfie Steele, his mother and her partner, prior to his murder.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct(IOPC) said it had launched an investigation following an assessment of a mandatory referral from the force after the conclusion of criminal proceedings last month.

Dirk Howell was found guilty of murder and Carla Scott was found guilty of manslaughter after Alfie, aged 9, died at his home in February 2021.

The court heard there was evidence he had injuries that were inflicted by ‘an adult who lost control.’

Neighbours had raised concerns that he was being ill-treated before his death.

The two individuals convicted had contact with West Mercia Police on a number of occasions in the years prior to Alfie’s murder.

The investigation will consider the actions and decisions of West Mercia Police, focusing on their response to concerns about Alfie’s welfare. 

It will also examine whether any person serving with the force may have behaved in a manner which would justify disciplinary proceedings.  

IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell said: “First and foremost, my thoughts and sympathies go to Alfie’s family and friends and everyone who has understandably been left shocked and saddened by his death.

“I have recently discussed the referral with West Mercia Police, which followed the level of public concern raised by the trial of Alfie’s mother and her partner.

“Our investigation will be thorough and completely independent of the police.

"In examining the force’s response to the series of reports, we will be considering whether there is any organisational learning for West Mercia Police and if any change in policy or practice might help to prevent the awful circumstances of Alfie’s death from happening again.”

A Child Safeguarding Practice Review is also underway concerning Alfie Steele looking at the role and involvement of several agencies.