Kent police officers investigated after boy’s lockdown death

Kent Police

Three officers and two staff members from Kent Police are being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after a boy’s death.

Matthew Mackell, 17, was found dead in Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells, on 7 May after taking his own life.

The IOPC is investigating how Kent Police staff handled calls with Matthew the evening before his body was found, and what can be learned from it.

It follows a mandatory referral to the police watchdog by the force.

Matthew’s older brother, Chris Mackell, said the A-level student had been worried his grades would be affected by the closure of his school during the coronavirus lockdown.

He said his brother had been fearful for his future, “probably because of the lockdown, where, obviously he’s not doing his work to the same quality, maybe, or he felt like he wasn’t in the right mindset to do it at home versus at school.

“He obviously didn’t see a way out of it,” he said.

Mr Mackell called for “anyone that is feeling any sort of sadness and is dealing with anything” to speak out.

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