Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Saturday, 4 October 2008 13:18 UK

Jump crowd 'disgust' police boss

Shaun Dykes
Trained police negotiators spent three hours talking to Shaun Dykes

Bystanders who urged a teenager to jump to his death from a car park have been branded "ghoulish" by Derbyshire's Chief Constable Mick Creedon.

Shaun Dykes, 17, from Kilburn, fell to his death from the top of the Westfield Centre multi-storey in Derby on 27 September, as onlookers shouted "jump".

Mr Creedon said: "It disgusts me to think of their motivation and their lack of compassion."

The chief constable also defended his officers for not making any arrests.

Police had spent three hours trying to coax the teenager down. Some onlookers even used phones to film the event.

Mr Creedon said: "While we are very used to dealing with incidents like this, this was unusual with members of the public videoing, taking photographs and even shouting for Shaun to jump.

It disgusts me to think of their motivation and their lack of compassion towards a fellow human being obviously in distress
Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon

"All my experience and belief in the good in people tells me that the vast majority of the crowd who watched the events unfold were wishing for the best result, hoping that Shaun remained safe and well.

"However, all of us associated with the force see the actions of that small minority who were encouraging Shaun to take his own life as totally abhorrent.

"It disgusts me to think of their motivation and their lack of compassion towards a fellow human being obviously in distress."

Mr Creedon explained that there had not been enough police officers available to arrest those onlookers urging the teenager to jump.

"I know people are asking why these irresponsible idiots weren't arrested at the time, but I ask the public to understand that the few available officers at the scene were doing their best to manage a difficult situation," he said.

"They should not have to deal with the extra distraction of the deviant and ghoulish behaviour of a few, and if arrests had been made this would have necessitated perhaps two officers leaving the scene for every person arrested."

Mr Creedon added that officers involved in trying to talk to Shaun had been affected by his death.

He said: "The fact they were unsuccessful in negotiating Shaun to safety will have been very painful for them, particularly for the two officers who spent two hours talking directly to him," he said.

Shaun was a student at Heanor Gate Science College.

An inquest into the his death has been opened and adjourned.

Derby's 'public execution'
04 Oct 08 |  Today
Group shouted at death fall youth
30 Sep 08 |  Derbyshire

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