Street death: lessons have to be learned

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By KIRSTEN BEACOCK kirsten.beacock@pe­ter­bor­oughto­

LESSONS are go­ing to be learned from the tragic death of a man left to die in the street.

The is­sue of why the man, who has not been named, was ig­nored as he lay dy­ing for two hours in East­field Road, Peter­bor­ough, has been thrust onto the agenda of Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s next Strong and Sup­port­ive Com­mu­ni­ties Scru­tiny Com­mit­tee on June 16.

East Ward councillor Stephen Gold­spink said he had brought the is­sue be­fore the coun­cil be­cause he be­lieves there must be a prob­lem in the East­field Road com­mu­nity and they must now act to pre­vent a re­peat.

Cllr Gold­spink said: “My ba­sic point was that if there had been a strong and sup­port­ive com­mu­nity there, some­body would have stopped to help him be­fore he died.

“Peo­ple are ob­vi­ously not con­fi­dent in help­ing peo­ple so we need to find out why.

“We un­der­stand there are prob­lems with al­co­hol, anti-so­cial be­hav­iour and vi­o­lence in the area and this may have been a fac­tor.

“We must take ac­tion now be­cause we don’t want to be sat here in nine months’ time and some­thing like this hap­pens again.”

The in­ci­dent hap­pened in East- field Road on May 21 when a man col­lapsed and died on the pave­ment.

He was ig­nored by scores of peo­ple be­fore good sa­mar­i­tan Tony Poll came to his aid and called the emer­gency ser­vices, but by then it was to late to save him.

Com­mit­tee chair­man and ward councillor Mar­ion Todd said she did not know at this point what the scope of the re­view would be but they would be dis­cussing it at the Town Hall.

She said: “We are still wait­ing for the coro­ner’s ver­dict and would not want to prej­u­dice any in­quest. How­ever I un­der­stand that it will be a gen­eral con­ver­sa­tion about what hap­pened.

“Last year the com­mit­tee fo­cused on crime and dis­or­der and it may be that we de­cide to look at com­mu­nity co­he­sion and try and solve some of the prob­lems in that area.

“I think ev­ery­one’s aim is to make sure that some­thing like this will never hap­pen again.”

The griev­ing ex-wife of the man, a 60-year-old for­mer sol­dier, said some of the fam­ily had only been told of his death in the last few days and they wanted to draw a line un­der the in­ci­dent.

She said: “We are all very pri­vate and would like to get on with our griev­ing in peace.

“The only thing I will say is that I wel­come a coun­cil re­view and hope that at least some good will come out of his death.”

SCENE: The scene in East­field Road, Peter­bor­ough, where a man was left for two hours af­ter col­laps­ing in the street.

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