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Man dies after collapsing in the street

News   •   Jul 05, 2021 14:00 BST

A man has died after collapsing in the street in Lewisham.

Police were called shortly after 19:00hrs on Sunday, 4 July, to reports of a distressed man shouting for help and trying to grab members of the public in Verdant Lane, Catford.

London Ambulance Service (LAS) colleagues were called and officers attended the location where they found the man lying on the floor, extremely distressed and claiming to have been stabbed.

Officers checked the man for any injury and, as his behaviour became more erratic, a single handcuff was applied to one of his arms. This was removed a short time later when the man’s condition deteriorated. The officers administered first aid until LAS arrived.

The 49-year-old man was taken to a south London hospital, where he died later that evening. Urgent enquiries are ongoing to locate and inform the man’s next of kin.

The incident is being investigated by the Directorate of Professional Standards. A referral is being made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Superintendent Petra Lazar of the Met’s South East Area BCU said: “This is a very distressing incident, and my thoughts are with the man’s family and friends. I will ensure that they are provided with the best possible support by the Metropolitan Police.

“A thorough investigation is under way to fully understand the circumstances, and this will include a post-mortem examination to establish the cause of the man’s death. No evidence of stab injuries was found by the officers at the scene.

“The officers’ body worn video footage has been viewed. It is important to wait for a full assessment of this and other material but, at this early stage, I can say that the officers’ use of force in applying a single handcuff was minimal. It is only right that this will be subject to considerable scrutiny given the sad outcome of this incident.

“I await further details in the coming days and can assure the full support of all my officers to those investigating this tragic incident. Along with colleagues and partner organisations, I will do all I can to establish a full picture and to share that with the man’s family and the wider community as soon as possible.”