An investigation has been launched into the behavior of five police call handlers following the death of a man with mental health problems.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission said notices of investigation have been served on five staff with Devon and Cornwall police involved in call handling on 24 and 25 July.
The watchdog is focusing on how police dealt with Cheng Somers in the weeks leading up to his death.
They are also looking in to how those staff responded to a phone call from a member of the public on 25 July, who reported that a man outside his house was taking tablets.
Somers’s body was found on 22 August behind Winner Hill, Paignton, Devon.
The IPCC is also investigating how the police dealt with the missing person report made by his family on 31 July and complaints made by them about the way their phone calls to the police were handled.
The Plymouth Safeguarding Adults Board has agreed to set up a serious case review into whether there are any lessons to be learned and to examine the way local professionals and agencies worked together to safeguard vulnerable adults, said IPCC commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne on Tuesday.
She added: “It is clear that Mr Somers had mental health issues and he was very vulnerable. I am pleased the Safeguarding Adults Board has decided to set up a review and we will of course share our investigation findings with it.
“Our investigation into police actions has made significant progress but we still have a lot of work to do. I have also arranged for two independent external experts in mental health and diversity issues to assist our investigation.
“We have had several meetings with Mr Somers’ family and continue to provide them with regular updates.
“It is vital that the full circumstances of Mr Somers’ tragic death are investigated, in order to provide answers to the many questions his family have, to ensure the decisions and actions of the police are scrutinised and they are held to account for any failings and that any lessons are learned by the police and other agencies.”
Devon and Cornwall police said they were unable to comment on the case.
News published on: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/feb/19/ipcc-investigating-police-call-handlers-death