Po­lice un­der es­ca­lat­ing pres­sure over death of tragic stu­dent Scott

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS - By Peter swin­don [email protected]

Ana­tional char­ity has called for an in­quiry into the death of stu­dent Scott Calder as MSPS ques­tion Po­lice Scot­land about the night he died.

The 23-year-old’s body was found on a beach in East Loth­ian in Oc­to­ber, hours af­ter of­fi­cers al­lowed him to wan­der off alone. He had been picked up by po­lice af­ter con­cerned mem­bers of the pub­lic warned he was vul­ner­a­ble and at risk af­ter see­ing him stag­ger­ing in the mid­dle of a pitch-black road af­ter a beer fes­ti­val.

Wit­nesses who tried to help him said the stu­dent, who had been drink­ing, was strug­gling to walk or talk. He was wear­ing only a Leder­ho­sen fancy dress out­fit at the Ok­to­ber­fest event held at stately home Gos­ford House.

Orig­i­nally, po­lice told his par­ents, who say they have been given lit­tle in­for­ma­tion about the night their son died, that Scott had been dropped off at a bus stop in the cen­tre of Port Se­ton, three miles away, around 11.20pm, but later said he had been left alone on the out­skirts of town.

His body was found on a beach at Long­nid­dry the next morn­ing. Deb­o­rah Coles, di­rec­tor of In­quest, a char­ity scru­ti­n­is­ing deaths where of­fi­cers or of­fi­cials have been in­volved, said Scott’s death must be prop­erly ex­plained. She said: “Po­lice of­fi­cers have a duty of care to all of us, par­tic­u­larly when we are in a vul­ner­a­ble state.

“It is in the in­ter­est of the fam­ily and the pub­lic there is a wide-rang­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into this death.” Mean­while, Liam Mcarthur MSP, the Scot­tish Lib Dems jus­tice spokesman, has writ­ten to po­lice chief constable Iain Liv­ing­stone to ask for an ex­pla­na­tion of the of­fi­cers’ ac­tions and de­tails of force pol­icy and train­ing.

Af­ter a pre­lim­i­nary re­view, Po­lice In­ves­ti­ga­tions and Re­view Com­mis­sioner Kate Frame de­cided no fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion was needed and of­fi­cers acted “ap­pro­pri­ately”. How­ever, Mr Mcarthur has raised con­cerns and, in his email to Mr Liv­ingston, wrote: “I ap­pre­ci­ate that this case is still the sub­ject of in­ves­ti­ga­tions. “There is how­ever pub­lic con­cern about what it may re­veal more broadly about the poli­cies and thresh­olds Po­lice Scot­land ap­plies when deal­ing with peo­ple who are in­tox­i­cated, or in­ca­pable of pro­tect­ing their own safety.” Mr Mcarthur also sug­gested Po­lice Scot­land con­sider a re­view of its ap­proach.

He added: “Re­ports also in­di­cate Scott did not have suf­fi­cient cloth­ing for the weather and that no phone or wal­let was present when he was found the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

“In light of this, how is an in­di­vid­ual’s pre­pared­ness taken into ac­count when of­fi­cers are mak­ing de­ci­sions about how best to in­ter­vene and as­sist a per­son about whom there may be wel­fare con­cerns?”

Po­lice Scot­land said: “A full and thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Scott Calder’s death was car­ried out by Po­lice Scot­land and a re­port sub­mit­ted to the Procu­ra­tor Fis­cal.

“Once cause of death was es­tab­lished, Scott’s fam­ily were fully up­dated and our sym­pa­thies re­main with them.

“As part of this in­ves­ti­ga­tion we re­ferred the mat­ter to PIRC, who con­cluded that of­fi­cers acted ap­pro­pri­ately in their en­gage­ment with Scott prior to his death.”

‘ A full probe is in the in­ter­est of the fam­ily and the pub­lic

Deb­o­rah Coles, of in­quest, and our ini­tial re­ports

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