Complaints prompt IOPC probe into Avon and Somerset Police actions after woman's death

Kelly Faiers
-Credit: (Image: Avon and Somerset Police)


The Independent Office for Police Conduct has launched an investigation into the way complaints were made by a woman's family after she died. The IOPC is currently investigating complaints made by the family of Kelly Faiers regarding the response of Avon and Somerset Police to her death.

Kelly Faiers, 61, died at a property in Minehead, on October 15, 2023, where Richard Scatchard resided. Scatchard had previously been convicted of several sexual offences in 2000 and was recalled to prison for violating his probation conditions shortly after Faiers' death.

On the evening of October 14 of last year, Scatchard and Faiers were out together in Minehead. In the early hours of 15 October, Scatchard called an ambulance reporting that Faiers was critically ill.

Read more:

Tragically, Faiers was declared dead at the scene upon the arrival of paramedics. Avon and Somerset Police also attended the property and spoke with Scatchard before leaving the scene.

They returned the following day for further questioning, but Scatchard had vanished. In December 2023, Faiers' family expressed their concerns about the police investigation into her death.

Their complaints allude to the poor decisions made and actions taken by Avon and Somerset Police immediately following Faiers' death. Including, but not limited to their handling of the scene, the decision not to arrest Scatchard or initiate a criminal investigation, and the communication between the police and her family after Faiers' death.

The IOPC launched an independent investigation after a referral from Avon and Somerset Police in January. The investigation is looking at the actions and decision-making of police officers involved, as well as examining if force policies and procedures were followed correctly.

Want the latest Bristol breaking news and top stories first? Click here to join our WhatsApp group. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice.

IOPC regional director David Ford said: "I send my sincere sympathies to Ms Faiers' family over the sudden loss of their loved one. Our thoughts are with them and everyone affected by her death.

"Our investigation, carried out independently of police, is thorough and will ensure that the actions of the officers involved are properly scrutinised. In particular, we are analysing the police decision not to detain Mr Scatchard or begin a criminal investigation immediately after Ms Faiers was found at his address.

"We are considering what information officers who attended the Minehead address had when Mr Scatchard was first spoken to and any liaison that took place between them and supervisory officers.

"We have been in contact with Ms Faiers' family to explain our role and we will begiving regular updates to them as our investigation continues to develop."

On April 4 of this year, Avon and Somerset Police reported that a body had been discovered in a caravan in Watchet. The body was later identified as Scatchard, who had been missing since October 16, 2023.

Following a mandatory referral from Avon and Somerset Police last month, due to prior police contact with Scatchard, IPOC advised the force's professional standards department to conduct a local investigation into their search for Scatchard and into his death. The IOPC will maintain a level of oversight by reviewing the force's investigation upon completion.