Suffolk police to be investigated over handling of incident in which man allegedly froze to death while waiting for ambulance

An East of England Ambulance. Photo: Steve Adams

An East of England Ambulance. Photo: Steve Adams

Suffolk Constabulary has referred itself on for an independent investigation over its handling of an incident in which a man allegedly froze to death in Lowestoft while waiting for an ambulance.

Concerns about the victim were first raised with police on December 27 but it is understood an ambulance did not arrive until 16 hours later, by which time he had died.

It comes after Theresa May was confronted by Waveney MP Peter Aldous about the case during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.

The case was first brought to light by a senior whistleblower for the East of England Ambulance Service, who claims 20 people died over the Christmas and New Year period due to ambulance delays.

The whistleblower claims the man was outside and no ambulance was sent when the first call was made by police. Suffolk police made a second call when they found the man, who apparently appeared to have frozen to death.

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The ambulance trust said when the call was first made they were told the man was conscious and breathing and had no obvious injuries. Therefore the call was categorised as a non-emergency call.

When they received the second call a paramedic arrived within eight minutes but the man was dead.

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Suffolk Constabulary is now to be investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct over the death.

A spokesman said: 'We can confirm we were called to an incident where the body of a male in his 50s was discovered outside a property on Priors Close in Lowestoft on Thursday, December 28.

'A call was also made to police from a member of the public on Wednesday, December 27 when concern was raised for the man's welfare.

'Suffolk Constabulary can confirm it has made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct who will conduct an independent investigation.'

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