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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 19:47 GMT
Police to review young suicides
[Top, L-R) Dale Crole, Gareth Morgan, Liam Clarke, David Dilling; [Bottom, L-R) Thomas Davies, Zachary Barnes, Natasha Randall
Seven of the 13 young people who have died in the last year
South Wales Police are to review a number of suicides among young people in the same area.

Last week another local teenager was found dead, bringing to 13 the number of suspected suicides aged under 26 in the Bridgend area over the past year.

Local MP Madeleine Moon has claimed social networking websites could have been "romanticising suicide".

But police stress there is no evidence of a "suicide pact," nor anything to suggest the deaths are linked.

The coroner for the Bridgend area has said he is "desperately concerned" about the 13 deaths of young people since early 2007.

To date there is no evidence of a suicide pact and that theory did not come from the police
South Wales Police

Police will not confirm the numbers of deaths under review, and stress they are not reinvestigating them.

A spokesman said: "At this stage we are not confirming the number or further details.

"We are not reinvestigating the deaths, but we are looking at any possible links between them.

"We have no evidence to suggest there is any link between the deaths at this time.

"To date there is no evidence of a suicide pact and that theory did not come from the police.

The only death officers are investigating is that of 17-year-old Natasha Randall, who was found hanging in her home at Blaengarw, near Bridgend, on 17 January.

Police have taken her computer away for examination and the spokesman said they were preparing a file for the coroner on the death.

Mental health services

News of a possible "cluster" of suicides has made headlines around the world and journalists from across the UK, Germany and America attended a meeting of a multi-agency group in the area on Friday.

The group has been set up with the aim of tackling the number of suicides in the county and its head Dr Tegwyn Williams said a strategy would be published this month.

The group combining police, health trust and council officials was formed last year after a review of mental health services in the Bro Morgannwg area, which includes Bridgend.

Dr Williams said he was not convinced there was a "particular problem" in Bridgend.

"Suicides happen everywhere in all places and in all age groups," he said.

But he added: "That doesn't mean we can't do something about what is happening here in Bridgend.

"I think the difficulty with suicide is that each individual case is different.

"In more cases there can be bereavement and in some cases relationship difficulties and in some cases drugs and alcohol and in each individual case there is a different constellation."

However, the father of 20-year-old Liam Clarke, who killed himself in December, has said he does not believe his death was linked to the others.



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