Death of a man in Dundee on 7 September 2016 following prior interaction with police

About 0330 hours on 7 September 2016, Police Scotland received a call from a woman reporting that she could hear her neighbours shouting and the sound of a child crying, coming from the top floor flat in Dundee.

About 0335 hours, Police Scotland's Area Control Room (ACR) at Dundee dispatched officers to attend the incident which the ACR described as a possible domestic disturbance.

About 0347 hours the officers attended and spoke with the female householder, who stated that only she and her young child were in the house. Officers requested that she allow them access to the house to check on the welfare of the occupants. On entering, they found a man hiding under a bed. He stated that he had hidden there because he thought there were warrants in force for him. Both the man and woman stated that they were not in a relationship and the person responsible for the disturbance had left the premises prior to police arrival. The woman also informed the officers that she was happy for the man to remain in the flat and stay overnight. The officers found that the child was in bed and did not appear distressed. The officers confirmed with the ACR that the man was not wanted on warrant and finding no evidence of a domestic incident, left the premises. 

About 0630 hours, Police Scotland were contacted by Ambulance Control regarding a man having fallen or jumped from a window of a building in Dundee. The man was declared dead at the scene.

On 8 September 2016, the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) was requested by Police Scotland in terms of the Police and Fire Reform Act 2012 and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations Procedure, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013 to examine the initial police response to the incident.

Following investigation the Commissioner concludes that:

  • When the initial telephone call was made to police, it was appropriately prioritised as a Priority Grade 2 incident. Officers were dispatched to attend within the 15 minute timescale required by this grading and indeed attended at the address within approximately 15 minutes of the call having been received.
  • Officers who attended at the incident acted appropriately and gained entry to the flat to assess the situation and check on the welfare of the occupants. They spent 25 minutes investigating the report, separating the deceased and the woman in an attempt to establish the truth of the events but found that the deceased and the woman were uncooperative and evasive when questioned.
  • The officers found no evidence of an on-going disturbance and satisfied themselves that the child who was in bed appeared safe and well.
  • The officers also satisfied themselves that the deceased and the woman were not in a relationship and appeared happy to be left in the house together.
  • There was nothing to indicate to the officers from the actions or demeanor of the deceased that he was considering taking his own life.
  • From all the available evidence there is nothing to suggest that the death was attributable to any act or omission by officers of Police Scotland.

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