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Police officer and two members of Kent police staff are investigated following death of Matthew Mackell

A police officer and two members of police staff are being investigated following the death of a teenage boy.

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

Matthew Mackell took his own life aged 17
Matthew Mackell took his own life aged 17

After his death, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched an investigation into Kent Police’s contact with Matthew.

It related to how staff handled calls with Matthew the evening before his body was found and followed a mandatory referral to the IOPC from Kent Police.

At the time, IOPC regional director for London and the South East, Sarah Green, said: "We will be considering the force’s response to a call made to them by Matthew and whether there is any learning that can be identified.

“We have made initial contact with Matthew’s family to explain our role and we will be keeping them regularly updated as our inquiries progress.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and anyone else who may have been affected by his sad death."

Flowers and messages at Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells in memory of Matthew
Flowers and messages at Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells in memory of Matthew

Now, the watchdog has revealed that one officer and two members of police staff "may have breached police standards of professional behaviour".

An IOPC spokesman said: "Following the non-suspicious death of Matthew Mackell on May 7 2020 a Kent police officer and two members of Kent police staff are being investigated, as there is an indication they may have breached police standards of professional behaviour.

"We are examining their actions and decisions relating to their contact with Matthew, and whether these actions were in line with national and local policy.

"The investigation is in its initial stages and this development does not mean that disciplinary action will necessarily follow."

Matthew lived with his father Michael Bond and two brothers, Christopher, 18, and Daniel, 13, at their home in Sandhurst Road.

Matthew Mackell with his two brothers Christopher and Daniel. Picture: Michael Bond
Matthew Mackell with his two brothers Christopher and Daniel. Picture: Michael Bond

He was a Year 12 student at Skinners' Kent Academy.

Paying tribute, his dad said: "Matthew liked school work and playing computer games.

"He was a very quiet young lad but he always spoke his mind.

"I’d hear him in his room and think he’s happy laughing his head off."

Mr Bond has previously spoken out to encourage others to get help and talk, after finding out how much Matthew was struggling.

He said: "We would have never expected this from him, ever.

"He had so many friends at school. I wish he could have talked to me or one of them."

A crowdfunding page set up in his memory raised thousands of pounds.

Executive principal of Skinners' Kent Academy, Dr Hilary Macaulay, said Matthew represented everything the academy stands for and values.

He said: "Matthew was a very popular student with his peers and staff alike and enjoyed taking part in academy ski trips.

"He had a genuine sense of what was just and fair and a keen interest in business and financial management."

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