Man died af­ter call to po­lice was down­graded

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Special Report - By Sam Wil­liams

A young man died af­ter a call to the po­lice by paramedics seek­ing their as­sis­tance was “down­graded”.

Craig Davis, 31, died on Au­gust 14, 2015 at his home in Ash­ford af­ter suf­fer­ing breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties.

He had put an emer­gency call into South East Coast Am­bu­lance Ser­vice (SE­CAMB) but dur­ing the call the line went silent.

While paramedics were en route to his home, they called Kent Po­lice to re­quest as­sis­tance from of­fi­cers in case it was nec­es­sary to gain en­try into the house.

The ini­tial call han­dler graded the in­ci­dent as one re­quir­ing an ‘im­me­di­ate’ po­lice re­sponse.

Sub­se­quently, f ol l ow­ing SE­CAMB’s call to them, Kent Po­lice down­graded the in­ci­dent.

SE­CAMB then con­tacted po­lice a se­cond time re­quest­ing their es­ti­mated time of ar­rival.

Of­fi­cers ar­rived on the scene shortly af­ter but Mr Davis was found dead in the house.

Fol­low­ing this, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was car­ried out by the In­de­pend- ent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion (IPCC).

It found that the de­ci­sion to down­grade the in­ci­dent was due to a mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the in­for­ma­tion on the in­ci­dent log and did not find any case to an­swer for dis­ci­plinary ac­tion.

How­ever, the re­port rec­om­mends that Kent Po­lice and SE­CAMB clar­ify their poli­cies on forced en­try into homes in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions and con­sider a joint agree­ment to en­sure that their roles and pow­ers are clearly un­der­stood.

Kent Po­lice has agreed with the rec­om­men­da­tions and says it is work­ing to­wards their im­ple­men­ta­tion.

IPCC Com­mis­sioner Mary Cun­neen said: “My first thoughts are with Mr Davis’ fam­ily and friends fol­low­ing his death.

“It is vi­tal that emer­gency ser­vices work well to­gether and fol­low­ing our in­ves­ti­ga­tion we have rec­om­mended that Kent Po­lice work with SE­CAMB to avoid any con­fu­sion in the fu­ture.”

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