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East Malling: Independent Office for Police Conduct to investigate Kent Police's response to death of Richard Betts in Larkspur Close


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An independent investigation will be launched into Kent Police's response to the death of a man in East Malling.

Police were called to Larkspur Close just before 7pm on Monday, June 25, where two people who reportedly knew each other were involved in a fight.

A man in his 20s was taken to hospital, where he later died.

Police car outside the East Malling house in Larkspur Close.
Police car outside the East Malling house in Larkspur Close.

He has since been named locally as Richard Betts, a 23-year-old father remembered by friends and family on social media as an “all round top man”.

Officers were at the scene until the afternoon of Tuesday, June 26, and arrested a man in his 40s from the East Malling area in connection with the incident.

He was later bailed to return to a police station next month.

Neighbours reported hearing shouting and screaming coming from the house on the evening of June 25, while a front window was also visibly smashed.

A post-mortem examination took place last Thursday, and Kent Police confirmed the cause of Mr Betts' death remains under investigation, with further tests set to be carried out in due course.

Richard Betts died following an altercation at a home in East Malling.
Richard Betts died following an altercation at a home in East Malling.

One friend, Lee Ramsey, paid tribute to Mr Betts by saying: “All he ever wanted was to please everyone.

“[He had] such a kind heart and stuck his head on the line for me loads of times. Making me feel sick that he’s gone.”

A voluntary referral was made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in relation to Kent Police’s response to the incident, and the watchdog has now confirmed it will launch an independent investigation.

Kent Police has declined to make further comment.

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