A WATCHDOG is investigating Police Scotland after a man was found dead several days after concerns were raised about his welfare.
Andrew Bow, 36, was discovered in his flat in Southside last week, and it has now emerged that one of his neighbours had called police days earlier to say she was worried about his wellbeing.
Her call was handled by the same police service centre which took a report from a motorist last July about a couple whose car crashed on the M9. Police failed to follow up the incident and one of the passengers lay dying next to her dead partner for three days. She later died in hospital.
The calls from members of the public in both incidents were handled by staff at Bilston Glen in Midlothian.
Prosecutors have now instructed the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (Pirc) to look into Police Scotland’s initial handling of Mr Bow’s death.
It is understood Mr Bow did not have any family living nearby and lived alone in his flat in East Cross Causeway. Neighbours said he volunteered in the nearby Southside Community Centre, wthere he worked in the kitchens.
One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: “Andrew was quite quiet and kept himself to himself.”
The incident comes just months after Police Scotland came under fire following the deaths of John Yuill, 28, and mother-of-two Lamara Bell, 25, in a crash on the M9 near Bannockburn in July.
Police took three days to find the couple’s car after failing to log a call properly from a concerned motorist who saw the couple’s Renault Clio leave the road.
Mr Yuill died at the scene. Miss Bell was still alive when officers arrived, but died later in hospital.
Politicians today said they feared the latest incident would lead to a loss of public confidence in Police Scotland’s ability to answer calls.
Scottish Labour Lothian list candidate Sarah Boyack said: “It’s deeply disturbing, clearly there needs to be some kind of investigation about what went on and if there was not an appropriate response then why not, especially after the previous tragic incident.”
A Pirc spokeswoman said: “The Pirc has been instructed by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to carry out an independent investigation after the body of Andrew Bow was discovered at a residential address in Edinburgh on March 23.
“The investigation will focus on the initial police response leading up to the incident, which included a report of concern about the welfare of the occupant of the property.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Following the discovery of a 36-year-old man’s body within a property in Edinburgh on March 23, police submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal and the decision has now been taken to report the matter to the PIRC.
“As such, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”