a "fear-for-welfare" incident


Two cyclists were killed when they were struck by a car following a suspected police pursuit in a flood-hit village.

Police called to a ''fear-for-welfare'' incident saw a black BMW convertible linked to the call-out.

What does the part in bold mean? The excerpt comes from this article.

I found on another website that it means there isn't any criminal offence going on, which doesn't add up to me since in the first example two people got killed so that is a criminal offence, right? Also, are there any words or phrases that are synonymous to "fear-for-welfare"?

But Thames Valley Police say the call to them was a 'fear for welfare' shout, meaning there wasn't any criminal offence going on.
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    The police had been called out to something and then they gave chase AFTER that call.
    What they were called out to was the "fear for welfare" bit. The chasing was a different bit, and thus the death of the cyclists is a separate matter.

    I guess fear for welfare means when someone thinks there is some harm abou to happen, maybe what we used to call domestic violence or public affray? I have not noticed it until you pointed it out but I can see various uses on the news pages of local papers.
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