AN independent watchdog has cleared police of any serious wrongdoing in their handling of the Shukri Abdi drowning case.

An investigation was launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into several aspects of how Greater Manchester Police amid family concerns over how the inquiry was handled.

Lawyers for the family have maintained that bullying was a factor in Shukri's death and have continued to press for action against at least one of the children associated with her death.

And their complaint on the police investigation was that her family received less favourable treatment because of Shukri's ethnic backgrouund.

But the IOPC inquiry has ruled that police followed correct procedures, following her death at the River Irwell in June 2019, and have now released their findings.

The watchdog found officers had reached the river within three minutes of a report someone had entered the water - and witness statements were taken immediately while underwater search teams were deployed.

Further the senior investigating officer, while initially assessing there were no suspicious circumstances, kept this decision under review for a number of days and considered whether bullying was a factor in the death.

Investigators also determined all relevant witnesses, including the other children present when Shukri drowned, had been properly interviewed.

And it was noted translators had been brought in,to overcome language barriers, and a specialist family liaison officers had been brought in to keep the family updated about the inquiry.

Rejecting claims there were grounds for professional standards breaches, IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe said: “I know the tragic circumstances of Shukri’s death were felt across the local area and beyond. Our thoughts and sympathies remain with her family and all those affected by this incident.

“We know Shukri’s death posed many questions – we can only answer those around the actions of individual officers. The complaints we received following her death were treated with the upmost seriousness and very carefully assessed against the evidence available to us.

“We found insufficient evidence to suggest that GMP did not conduct a thorough investigation and I am satisfied that it was carried out in line with national and local policies and procedures.

“However, while we did not uphold the complaints, I have asked that the senior investigating officer to reflect upon his actions during the meeting with Shukri’s family, and consider how raising his voice could be perceived by those for whom English is a second or other language and/or from BAME backgrounds.

“We shared our findings with Shukri’s family before the inquest, and we have offered to meet with them. I know that nothing we can do or say will bring Shukri back, but I hope that our work provides the clarity and facts they had rightly sought.”