February 10, 2021 4.53 pm This story is over 16 months old

Lincolnshire Police cleared after watchdog probes woman’s suicide

Force not liable for woman’s attempts

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has cleared Lincolnshire Police of any wrongdoing after concluding its investigation relating to a fatal crash near Lincoln.

A 25-year-old female pedestrian, who has since been named as Samantha Jayes, died as a result of suicide after she was hit by a van on Middle Street in Burton village at around 1.25am on March 4 last year.

The IOPC investigated the matter following a referral from Lincolnshire Police after the force attended an incident involving the same woman during the evening of Tuesday, March 3 last year.

Police attended an incident on March 1 involving her walking in the road and she was taken to hospital as a place of safety. She had been found on Middle Street in Burton threatening to take her own life.

On March 3 she left her parents home and returned to Lincoln. Police then received a 999 call at around 10.30pm on March 3 saying that a person was wandering in a road a few miles outside of Lincoln.

When officers attended soon after they found Samantha Jayes walking along the footpath. She denied any suicidal intent and agreed to be taken back to her home address.

At around 1.20am the following morning she was hit by a vehicle on the same road and sadly pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

An undated note was later recovered from her home address indicating an intention to take her own life.

An inquest hearing was held in December 10 last year, where the conclusion of the coroner for the death was given as suicide.

The medical cause of death was a head injury. It was also noted in the coroner’s conclusions that Samantha Jayes had an extensive past medical history, which included both recorded episodes of self harm and admissions to hospital.

The IOPC concluded their investigation in October last year before publishing their findings on Wednesday, February 10, 2021.

It was established that the woman had a history of incidents involving concerns for her safety going back a number of years.

The IOPC said it was apparent from the previous incidents recorded that a number were linked to her mental health.

Investigators obtained accounts from the police officers concerned, examined police logs and airwaves communications, and considered relevant national and local policies.

The IOPC said: “At the conclusion of our investigation in October 2020, we were of the opinion that the two officers who returned the woman home on March 3 did consider their duty of care towards her while being respectful of her rights and wishes.

“The officers spent time talking to her after taking her home and were mindful of safeguarding issues and her wellbeing.

“She was not at that time exhibiting behaviour that would enable them to consider the use of S.136 of the Mental Health Act so they had no legal power to detain her, and she declined offers of other assistance. The officers’ actions were reasonable in the circumstances.

“During our investigation there was no indication any police officer may have behaved in a manner that would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings or committed a criminal offence, and we found no organisational learning for Lincolnshire Police arising from this tragic incident.”