Police ‘spied’ on family of tragic Burnley soldier: investigation

Janet Alder, sister of former soldier Christopher Alder, who died in police custody. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Janet Alder, sister of former soldier Christopher Alder, who died in police custody. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The sister of a former soldier from Burnley who died in police custody may have been the subject of “improper surveillance” by the police.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation into Humberside Police amid claims Janet Alder was followed during an inquest into the death of her brother Christopher.

Christopher Alder

Christopher Alder

Mr Alder, a paratrooper and Falklands veteran, died after choking on his own blood in a police cell in Hull in 1998. His family, led by Janet, who lived in Burnley, launched a lengthy campaign for justice resulting in a seven-week inquest, which ruled he had been unlawfully killed.

It is now claimed Janet, and a second person, could have been placed under surveillance.

Humberside Police said it referred itself to the IPCC after the Home Office asked all police forces to check their records for evidence into the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the subsequent inquiry into his death.

A IPCC statement said: “The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating potential improper surveillance of the sister of Christopher Alder, who died in custody in Hull in 1998, and another person.

“The IPCC will be carrying out an independent investigation into these allegations.

“The IPCC has contacted Ms Alder and the other party to offer a meeting to discuss the investigation, which will be overseen by the IPCC’s Commissioner for Humberside.”