Two serving police officers died in apparent suicides within two weeks of each other while they were being investigated by their force.

Norfolk Police said their deaths were a “huge shock” and that while they cannot comment on individual cases there is welfare support available for officers.

The force has referred the cases to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and is reviewing its internal processes.

PC Richard Dennis, 42, was found dead at an address in Ingoldisthorpe on June 30, and PC Martin Scott, 35, was found dead at a property in Wymondham on July 13.

Both men are believed to have taken their own lives, inquests heard when they were separately opened and adjourned in Norwich.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk police head quarters at WymnondhamNorfolk police head quarters at Wymnondham (Image: Newsquest)

The inquest into PC Scott heard he was found on Clements Avenue, just a five minute drive from the constabulary's headquarters.

Police said he was being investigated in relation to misconduct allegations off duty and was on restricted duties but was not suspended from duty.

READ MORE: Norfolk police sees steep rise in officer misconduct cases

PC Dennis was suspended from duty at the time of his death and was under investigation following allegations of criminal conduct, the force said.

Deputy chief constable Simon Megicks said: “Sadly, we can confirm the deaths of two serving police officers, PC Richard Dennis, 42, from Hunstanton and PC Martin Scott, 35, from Earlham in Norwich.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk deputy chief constable Simon MegicksNorfolk deputy chief constable Simon Megicks (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)

“Both deaths have come as a huge shock to us all and it is a terribly sad time for their family, friends, and colleagues.

“I can only imagine the devastating impact this has had on their lives.

“As a force, we mourn their loss, and we continue to support both Richie’s and Martin’s families during this incredibly difficult time.”



The number of Norfolk police officers facing misconduct investigations rose by almost 50pc last year amid public concern over standards in policing.

Police forces including Norfolk, which has more than 1,800 officers, were told to check all serving officers against national crime databases earlier this year to root out officers unfit to serve who had “slipped through the net” before vetting standards were toughened.

READ MORE: ‘We take misconduct seriously’ - five police officers sacked in three years

At the time chief constable Paul Sanford said: "Like all forces, we are data-washing the details of all our officers and staff with the national database, to ensure there have been no behaviours we have missed before or since people have joined us.”

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk chief constable Paul SanfordNorfolk chief constable Paul Sanford (Image: Jason Bye)



Deputy chief constable Megicks said he recognised that when police officers are under investigation “it can be a highly stressful experience and have a huge impact on them and their family”.

He said: “Allegations of misconduct are taken extremely seriously and when these are made, we have a duty to investigate.

“Any decision to suspend or restrict officers from their duties is not taken lightly and is carried out in accordance with police regulations, agreed principles from the Home Office and College of Policing.

“The interests of the officer, alleged victim, the constabulary, and the wider public will also be considered in any decision-making."

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk police said it recognised misconduct investigations could place huge stress on officersNorfolk police said it recognised misconduct investigations could place huge stress on officers (Image: Newsquest)



Mr Megicks said: “It is not lost on me the impact these decisions can have on people, which is why support is put in place from the outset.”

He said he would not comment on individual cases but “can confirm that at the start of any misconduct process, both officers and staff will be allocated a welfare support officer”.

If concerns are raised about a person’s wellbeing, they can be referred to workplace health for more support or directed to a programme that offers counselling, he said.

The force also operates a trauma risk-management service for officers and staff exposed to traumatic incidents, offering help and support.