The police response to a report of people being in a disused quarry prior to the death of a 28-year-old man was appropriate and proportionate, a report by the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) has found.
The man’s body was recovered from the water at Craigiehill Quarry in Troon late on the evening of 28 May 2018. He was last seen by friends jumping into the water at 2030 hours but did not resurface.
The PIRC report published today (10 December 2018) found the private company who owned the quarry had sole responsibility for its safety and security and had put up boundary fencing to try and keep people out, as well as danger signs warning people not to enter the water.
Between 2015 and 2018 a total of 11 reports had been made to Police Scotland over concerns about people using the quarry.
At 1453 hours on Monday 28 May 2018, the Quarry Supervisor had contacted police to report that during an inspection he had found evidence of people using the quarry over the weekend. He asked police to give the area attention while on patrol, but did not request that they attend at that time.
There was no indication in the call that anyone was at the quarry at that time. Due to other local demands on policing no resources were available at that time and as there had not been any other calls about the quarry by around 2000 hours, the incident was closed.
Later that evening, friends of the man contacted emergency services after they saw him jump into the water and not resurface. They attended the scene and the man’s body was later recovered from the water. A post mortem revealed the cause of death was drowning.
The PIRC was directed by the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) to investigate the circumstances leading up to the incident, in particular the background of the earlier reports to Police Scotland and the fact that no officers were available to respond to the concerns expressed in the call from the Quarry Supervisor.
The report found that there was no evidence to suggest that if the police had attended the quarry on the afternoon of 28 May, the man’s subsequent death could have been prevented.
It also found that the police response to the report made at 1453 hours on 28 May 2018 and previous reports over the past three years were appropriate and proportionate to the circumstances reported.
Following agreement with the COPFS, a summary of the findings and recommendations can now be published.
You can read the report with findings and recommendations here.