Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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IOPC investigation into complaints against Avon and Somerset Police from the family of Kelly Faiers progresses

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into complaints made by the family of Kelly Faiers concerning the Avon and Somerset Police response to her death is progressing.

Ms Faiers, 61, died at a property in Minehead, Somerset on 15 October 2023, where Richard Scatchard lived. He had been convicted of a number of sexual offences in 2000 and, shortly after Ms Faiers’ death, he was subject to a recall to prison for a breach of his probation conditions. 

Mr Scatchard and Ms Faiers had been out together on the evening of 14 October in Minehead. Mr Scatchard called for an ambulance in the early hours of Sunday 15 October to report that Ms Faiers was critically ill. Sadly, Ms Faiers was pronounced dead at the scene following the arrival of paramedics. Avon and Somerset Police were also in attendance at the property and spoke with Mr Scatchard before leaving. They returned the next day to question him further, but he had disappeared.

Ms Faiers’ family raised concerns with Avon and Somerset Police about its investigation into her death in December 2023.

Their complaints are in relation to the decisions made and actions taken by Avon and Somerset Police immediately after Ms Faiers’ death, including their management of the scene, the decision not to arrest Mr Scatchard or start a criminal investigation and the communications police had with her family after Ms Faiers died. 

We decided to independently investigate after assessment of a referral from Avon and Somerset Police in January. Our investigation is looking at the actions and decision-making of police officers involved, as well as examining if force policies and procedures were followed correctly. We have obtained statements from relevant police officers, taken accounts from witnesses, and are continuing to follow up on enquiries with the Probation Service and Offender Management.  

IOPC regional director David Ford said: “I send my sincere sympathies to Ms Faiers’ family over the sudden loss of their loved one. Our thoughts are with them and everyone affected by her death. 

“Our investigation, carried out independently of police, is thorough and will ensure that the actions of the officers involved are properly scrutinised. In particular, we are analysing the police decision not to detain Mr Scatchard or begin a criminal investigation immediately after Ms Faiers was found at his address. We are considering what information officers who attended the Minehead address had when Mr Scatchard was first spoken to and any liaison that took place between them and supervisory officers. 

“We have been in contact with Ms Faiers’ family to explain our role and we will be giving regular updates to them as our investigation continues to develop.”

On 4 April Avon and Somerset Police advised that a body had been found in a caravan in Watchet which has was later identified as being that of Mr Scatchard, who had not been seen since 16 October 2023. Following a mandatory referral from Avon and Somerset Police last month, due to prior police contact with Mr Scatchard, we have advised the force’s professional standards department to carry out a local investigation into their search for Mr Scatchard and into his death. The IOPC will retain a degree of oversight by reviewing the force’s investigation on completion. We have also instructed the force that if any conduct matters arise for individuals from their local investigation, they must be referred to the IOPC.

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