Mark Thomas and Robert Cohen act in inquest examining police resources

6 December 2022

A jury at Truro Coroner’s Court found that it was possible that a significant delay in responding to an emergency call, caused by a lack of resources contributed to the death of Daniel Tilley on 7th July 2019.

Earlier that day, a telephone call was made to Devon & Cornwall Police following threats of suicide by Mr Tilley. Devon & Cornwall Police accepted that there were insufficient staff and officers in the Contact Management and Communications Unit and on the ground in Newquay. This was due to a longstanding reduction in police resources and particularly high levels of demand during the summer tourist season.

As a result, it took over four hours for police to attend the scene, whereupon officers discovered that Mr Tilley had tragically taken his own life.
The Coroner will make a Prevention of Future Deaths report to the Chief Constable to seek assurances that an intimated increase in staff and officer numbers will occur by the spring of 2023.

 Additionally, the Coroner will be writing to the Home Secretary and others in central government to raise concerns about police resourcing with particular reference to the significant seasonal increase in demand faced by Devon & Cornwall Police each summer.

Mark Thomas acted for the Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall Police. Robert Cohen represented the Police and Crime Commissioner. Both Mark and Robert are specialist counsel in the fields of police law and inquests.

The inquest attracted national media coverage, including:


Authors

Mark Thomas

Call 2006

Robert Cohen

Call 2009

Related areas

Inquests
Police Law

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