Police take 2 days to respond to call about man found dead

A call from the man's family was taken by a control room in Govan. Picture: Julie Bull
A call from the man's family was taken by a control room in Govan. Picture: Julie Bull
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An investigation has been launched after a man’s body was found two days after his family contacted Police Scotland to raise concerns for his safety.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) said the 51-year-old’s body had been discovered at an address in Fallin near Stirling on 22 February.

It is understood the investigation will look at why it took officers two days to visit the property after a call from the man’s family was taken by the control room in Govan on 20 February.

A Pirc spokesman said: “The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has instructed the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner to undertake an investigation after the body of a 51-year-old man was discovered at a residential property in Fallin, near Stirling, on 22 
February 2017. The investigation will focus on the response from Police Scotland to a telephone call made by family on 20 February 2017.

“A report on the commissioner’s findings will be submitted to the COPFS in due course.”

It is understood the man died of natural causes and there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

His name has not been released.

A Police Scotland spokesman said the force would cooperate fully with the Pirc investigation.

He said: “Police in Stirling attended at an address in Hardie Crescent, Fallin on Wednesday 22 February where the body of a 51-year-old man was found within.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding this death and a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal. Following a review of the initial response to this incident, Police Scotland reported the matter to the Crown Office and it has now been referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.

“We will provide them with all the necessary assistance they require during their investigation.”

In January, a review of Police Scotland control rooms found performance improving but warned errors and near misses were still taking place.

The update report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) followed an assurance review of call handling in 2015 after the deaths of John Yuill and Lamara Bell.

The couple died after their car crashed on the M9 in July of that year – police took three days to find it after a call from a member of the public was not properly logged.

The Crown Office is continuing to consider a Pirc report into the incident.

In the January report, HMICS said 98 “notable incidents” had taken place between April and November last year, the majority down to individual error.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, who has repeatedly raised concerns about Police Scotland control rooms, said the latest incident was “alarming”.

He said: “This is extremely alarming when we have been assured the call centre failures had been largely rectified.

“We need to fully understand what has gone wrong and what needs to be done to put it right.

“We also need to understand whether the loss of experienced civilian call handlers has led to these errors.”