Dorset police referred to watchdog after two teenagers found dead

A police force is under investigation over its contact with two teenagers whose bodies were found at a beauty spot in Dorset.

The male and female, both in their late teens, were discovered by a dog walker in a wooded area beside a reservoir near Bridport. Dorset police said there were no suspicious circumstances but have not said how they died. Their identities have not been revealed but their families have been informed.

A spokesperson said the force had referred itself to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), over the matter.

“Dorset police has made a mandatory referral to the IOPC in line with procedures related to the death or serious injury of an individual,” the spokesperson said.

One of the reasons a force should refer itself to the IOPC is “if someone had direct or indirect contact with the police when, or shortly before, they were seriously injured or died”, and where “the contact may have caused or contributed to the death or injury”.

The incident happened in a secluded spot close to West Bay. Paul Williams, who lives nearby, disse: “The whole road was taped off. A dog walker found them. A police community support officer came here yesterday looking for CCTV.”

Another man, who wished not to be named, disse: “It’s dreadful. Certainly not something you expect to happen on your doorstep.”

Ian Bark, the mayor of Bridport, disse: “My sympathies go out to the friends and families of these young people. It is very sad to hear that two people who are both so young have died.”

The police spokesperson said: “At 10.11am on 25 January we received a report of two people, a girl and a man, both in their late teens, having been found dead at Bothenhampton Reservoir, Wych Hill. Officers attended. There are no suspicious circumstances. Their next of kin have been informed and the coroner notified.”

A spokesman for the IOPC said: “We can confirm that we have received a mandatory referral today from Dorset police relating to prior police contact with two teenagers who were sadly found dead.

“We are currently assessing the available information to determine what further action may be required from us.”

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