Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 12:27 UK

Police watchdog probe after homeless man's death

The police watchdog is to investigate how officers dealt with a 47-year-old homeless man who was later found dead in a car park in Cardiff.

It is alleged staff at a hostel called police requesting Bryan Saltmarsh be detained for his own safety after trying to stab himself with scissors.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will look at claims he was not held under the Mental Health Act but driven to a shelter instead.

Mr Saltmarsh was found two days later.

His body was discovered in an NCP car park on Wood Street in the city centre.

IPCC Commissioner for Wales Tom Davies said it was launching an investigation into the South Wales Police officers' "contact" with Mr Saltmarsh following a complaint from a member of the public.

He said the manager of the hostel contacted South Wales Police on 25 April asking that Mr Saltmarsh, originally from Manchester, be detained because of concerns for his safety and that of others.

There is a legal responsibility for police forces to refer cases to the IPCC where there has been police contact prior to somebody's death
Tom Davies, IPCC Commissioner for Wales

It is claimed that the officers did not detain him under the Mental Health Act, but instead drove him to the 'Night Bus' homeless shelter - which is situated on a nightly basis outside a museum in Cardiff city centre.

Mr Saltmarsh was found dead on 27 April.

Mr Davies said: "My condolences go to Mr Saltmarsh's family and friends for their loss.

"I have decided that the IPCC should independently investigate this matter so that the complaint and the officers' actions can be fully examined.

"There is a legal responsibility for police forces to refer cases to the IPCC where there has been police contact prior to somebody's death.

"I am concerned that a referral was not made in this case until two weeks later and I will take this up with the police force and police authority."



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific