A MEMBER of staff for Dorset Police conceded “nobody got to grips” with the investigation after teenager Gaia Pope went missing.

Control room supervisor Andrew Mustoe told jurors at the 19-year-old’s inquest her case was a “textbook example” of why they changed systems.

Mr Mustoe, who deals with 999 calls and dispatches officers to incidents where necessary, was giving evidence on day 13 of Ms Pope’s inquest.

Bournemouth Echo:

READ MORE: Dorset Police evidence continues

Ms Pope’s case was graded as “high priority” when she went missing from Swanage on November 7, 2018.

However, Mr Mustoe said 80 per cent of around 200 logs open at any time were "high priority".

“We've changed it now so this would be a grade two,” Mr Mustoe said.

A total of seven logs were created between November 2, 2017, when Ms Pope first phoned to report receiving nude photos, until her being found on November 18.

“This has been passed from officer to officer to officer for someone to gain a grip and it hasn't happened,” he added.

This is a textbook example of why we had to change system."

At 9.30pm on November 3, police phoned Ms Pope after she became unwell and was unable to attend a meeting to report receiving the photos.

“Loose” arrangements were made for her to attend Wareham Police Station on November 7. That log then sat with the control room, Mr Mustoe said.

The police were aware Ms Pope would be attending on November 7, but no time was given. Mr Mustoe said this was not usual.

He added: “Now, as a result of this, when we're reviewing grade two incidents, we're looking at specifics, with the victim put at the centre.

“We want an officer to make firm arrangements because this is an example of where things can slip.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Questioned by senior coroner for Dorset Rachael Griffin, Mr Mustoe admitted “nobody got to grips” with the investigation.

Jurors also heard logs would become “corrupted” if they became too long and that officers and police staff would also add to closed logs, meaning information could be missed.

At 6.58pm on November 7, ‘top table’ in the control room, which Mr Mustoe did not sit on, graded Ms Pope as “medium risk”.

This was upgraded to “high risk” at 1.24am on November 8.

Mr Mustoe couldn’t say if he would have deemed Ms Pope as high or medium risk when she first went missing.

He did say Ms Pope should have been reported as a missing person when her worried aunt Talia Pope phoned at 3.41pm on November 7, not nearly three hours later when she called again at 6.15pm.

He accepted the first hour when someone goes missing is a “crucial time” and “key opportunities” were missed by the call handler at 3.41pm.

Ms Pope was found dead 11 days later in undergrowth on a clifftop near Dancing Ledge.

The inquest continues.