Cops under investigation following discovery of Falkirk man's body

Police Scotland is undergoing yet another probe for the way officers handled the discovery of a Falkirk man's dead body.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 1st February 2017, 5:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd February 2017, 10:40 am
Peter Ritchie was found dead in Kippen
Peter Ritchie was found dead in Kippen

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) is investigating circumstances surrounding police officers’ discovery of the body of Peter Ritchie (42), who police confirmed was from the Falkirk area, near the village of Kippen on Monday, January 30.

Mr Ritchie was found by officers in woodland, metres away from where his car was abandoned. It is understood a member of the public reported the vehicle in an area near Woodstone Road to police on Sunday, but the car was not found until around 24 hours later following a second call.

Police stated Mr Ritchie’s death is being treated as unexplained.

A PIRC spokesperson said: “The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has instructed the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner to investigate the circumstances leading up to the discovery of the body of Peter Ritchie.

“The investigation will focus on the actions of Police Scotland when responding to telephone calls made by members of the public and family on Sunday, January 29 and Monday, January 30.

“A report on the Commissioner’s findings will be submitted to the COPFS in due course.”

A statement on behalf of Mr Ritchie’s family said: “Peter was a much loved son and brother and as a family, we have been left devastated by his death. It will take time to come to terms with this loss and as such, we would ask for our privacy to be respected so that we can grieve in peace.”

Just over a month ago Police Scotland came to the attention of PIRC for a similar matter when David Penman (46) was found dead in a parked van in Dunipace on Thursday, December 15.

While it is believed Mr Penman’s death was not suspicious, questions were asked as to why police officers, who were reportedly made aware of the van as early as Tuesday, December 13, through telephone calls from concerned members of the public, only found his body two days later.

The Crown Office referred the matter to PIRC and once the investigation, which is ongoing, is carried out the findings will be passed back to the Crown Office to decide what action is to be taken.