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Police must review 'missing' inquiries

POLICE Scotland has been told to review the way its control room staff spark a missing person inquiry after an investigation into the case of a man who jumped from his seventh-floor flat.

Professor John McNeill, the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC), also said the national force should examine the actions of some of its officers and staff following the incident in Leith, Edinburgh.

A 39-year-old man, who has a history of psychiatric illness, remains in hospital after being seriously injured when he plunged from the flat on June 12.

A friend had called the Police Scotland area control room for Edinburgh to report his fears after the man left his home unexpectedly. Despite the fact police officers had been in contact with him on several occasions, no missing person report was raised. Instead, the friend's call was recorded as a "concern for person", meaning no police response was necessary.

Later that evening, three police officers were called to Torphin Bank in Edinburgh where the man had been seen behaving strangely. They were not told about previous incidents involving the man so the officers dropped him off outside his block of flats.

He fell from the seventh floor of the building about an hour and a half later.

Mr McNeill said: "It is essential information held in police systems and otherwise available to police staff is accurately recorded and provided to front line officers when attending calls. "

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "We will study all the evidence provided by the PIRC and note that a number of recommendations are specified."

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