Chesterfield, October 24, 2023
In a tragic incident amidst the chaos of Storm Babet, 83-year-old Maureen Gilbert was found dead at her home in Tapton Terrace, Chesterfield. The Derbyshire Constabulary has taken the unusual step of referring itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in the wake of the incident.
Ms. Gilbert’s lifeless body was discovered in her residence after a joint effort by officers from Derbyshire Constabulary, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, and East Midlands Ambulance Service. The emergency services arrived at her property at approximately 10:35 am, battling the adverse weather conditions caused by Storm Babet.
The circumstances surrounding Ms. Gilbert’s death remain under investigation, with authorities yet to determine the exact cause. However, the police force decided to make a mandatory referral to the IOPC due to the involvement of officers in the evacuation efforts that took place in the area the day before her tragic demise.
Neighbours recounted the horrifying speed at which their homes were inundated by floodwaters when the River Rother burst its banks. The area was severely affected by flooding, with reports indicating that five feet of water engulfed the interiors of homes within minutes.
Paul Gilbert, Ms. Gilbert’s son, shared the heartbreaking discovery of finding his mother “floating in the water” after breaking into her home through a window. The family is now grappling with the immense loss, as they await further information from the ongoing investigation.
The Derbyshire Constabulary assured the public and Ms. Gilbert’s family that they are fully cooperating with the IOPC inquiry. The family has been informed of the referral and is being regularly updated on the progress of the investigation into the tragic incident.
The incident has raised concerns among local residents, highlighting the challenges faced by emergency services during extreme weather events. Authorities are working diligently to assess the events leading up to Ms. Gilbert’s demise, hoping to shed light on the circumstances and prevent similar tragedies in the future.
As the investigation unfolds, the community mourns the loss of a beloved member, and questions linger about the events that transpired on that fateful day in Tapton Terrace.