Met Police refers itself to watchdog after woman found stabbed to death in Bayswater property

The scene on Stanhope Place, Bayswater, where a murder investigation is underway (William Warnes/PA Wire)
The scene on Stanhope Place, Bayswater, where a murder investigation is underway (William Warnes/PA Wire)

The Met Police has referred itself to the police watchdog after taking hours to respond to calls raising concerns about a young women’s welfare before she was found stabbed to death in her home near Hyde Park.

A friend of the victim, who was in her 20s, called the police at 7.05pm and 9.34pm on Sunday with their welfare concerns, the force said.

Officers did not force entry to the property in Stanhope Place, Bayswater, until 8.30am on Monday.

The victim was discovered dead with a number of stab injuries.

Scotland Yard said a murder investigation is underway and it is working to trace and inform the woman’s next of kin.

A post-mortem examination will be held in due course. No arrests have been made.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Met Police added that the victim was initially graded as a “medium risk” missing person before her body was discovered.

The force’s Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and a mandatory referral will be made to the IOPC in relation to the initial contact from the woman's friends.

A neighbour said they heard “a series of screams” coming from somewhere in the street on Sunday night, before there was just “silence”, the MailOnline reports.

They said: “I did hear very, very high-pitched screams on Sunday evening coming from that direction.

“A series of screams. They were very unusual.”

There is speculation that the property where the woman was found may have been converted into an Airbnb.

The house is a Grade II-listed three-storey, five-bedroom terraced home dating back to the 1820s.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Detective Chief Inspector Adam Clifton, leading the investigation for the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “I understand this news will be concerning, and that local women especially may be worried.

“Our inquiries are in the very early stages and we are keeping an open mind as to the motive, however I can assure people that my team are working 24/7 to establish what happened to the woman, and to identify and arrest whoever may be responsible for this attack.

“My officers now need support and information from the public.

“I want to ask local people to check doorbell cameras, and for drivers in the area to think about whether they’ve seen anything unusual that might have been captured on dash cam.

“Did you notice any unusual activity at the address? If you did then it is imperative that we hear from you.”

Chief Superintendent Louise Puddefoot, lead for policing in Westminster, added: “Our thoughts are with the woman and her family.

“My officers will do everything we can to support the investigation and they will be stationed in the area to speak to anyone who has any information or concerns they want to share with us.”

Anyone with information should call police via 101, quoting CAD 6784/7 Apr, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.