IPCC Investigate After Man's Death

An investigation has been launched into the behaviour of five police call handlers following the death of a man with mental health issues in Devon.

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 July 24 and 25 last year. 

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 call from a member of the public on July 25, who reported that a man outside his house was taking tablets. Mr Somers' body was found by a member of the public on August 22 at the rear of Winner Hill, Paignton, Devon.

The IPCC is also investigating how the police dealt with the missing person report made by Mr Somers' family on July 31 and complaints made by his family about the way their telephone 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 learnt and to examine the way local professionals and agencies worked together to safeguard vulnerable adults, watchdog commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said. 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.'' 

Devon and Cornwall Police said they were unable to comment on the case.

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