UK
17/03/2015 06:39 GMT | Updated 17/03/2015 10:59 GMT

Police Warn Onlookers Who Taunted Man To His Death May Be Prosecuted

Police have slammed onlookers who cruelly taunted and filmed a distressed man before he fell to his death – and warned they could face arrest.

The tragic incident occurred in Telford, Shropshire, on Saturday afternoon.

The man was standing on a multi-storey car park when a group of people began goading him to jump. Some are reported to have filmed the incident as it unfolded.

telford jump man

The man fell to his death from this car park in Telford on Saturday

Police negotiators were called to the scene in Southwater but the man later fell and was pronounced dead at 3.40pm.

Witness Chloe Jones told the BBC there were about 20 people, mainly teenagers but “some grown men” filmed the incident.

She said: “As we walked past, there were some youths shouting ‘Go on, do it, jump’.

“It made me feel quite sick, actually, and then a lot of them were filming it, but to see some grown men filming it…

“I just said to them ‘What on earth are you going to do with that footage? Are you going to go home and watch it if that poor man jumps?’”

Other taunts are said to have included chants of “Get on with it”, “Go on, jump,” and even “How far can you bounce?”

A petition set up by Ceri Ransome is calling on West Mercia Police to “find, arrest and charge the people who encouraged a man to jump to his death.” In just a day it had acquired more than 5,000 signatures.

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

Detective Sergeant Mark O'Connor, of West Mercia Police, said: "Following the tragic incident at the multi-storey car park, it has been brought to our attention of the distasteful and disrespectful actions and comments upon social media at the time and subsequent to the incident.

"We do not condone such behaviour, and would hope that the local community would work with our officers to provide information regarding those who committed the cruel taunts, this was clearly someone who was in need of support."

He added: "In response to the activity on social media, the origin of any comments or material that is deemed to be unlawful will be investigated and appropriate police action will be taken against any identified individual.

"I would urge that any person who is in possession of any related material does not publish it any further and ensure it is disposed of."

O'Connor said: "We would remind those to be respectful and think of the family and friends at this sad time."

The dead man is yet to be formally identified and the investigation has now been referred to the coroner.

Joe Ferns, Samaritans Executive Director of Policy and Research, told Huffington Post UK: “For reasons which are often complex and varied, many people find themselves in a position where they feel they can no longer work through their problems.

"It can feel lonely and frightening to be in such a situation and that’s why we’d encourage anyone struggling to cope to talk to us. Talking can really help when it comes to starting to tackle, and find a way through, these incredibly difficult feelings.

"We are here round the clock, every single day of the year, to listen and offer confidential support. People can contact us by phone on 08457 90 90 90, email jo@samaritans.org or find the details for your local branch at www.samaritans.org."

Other useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Young Minds offers information to young people about mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Students Against Depression, a website by students, for students.
  • HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pmand 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41
  • HeadMeds - a straight-talking website on mental health medication
  • Student Minds supports students across the UK to bring about positive change on their campuses through campaigning and facilitating peer support programmes. To join the community or launch a student group contact the charity on hello@studentminds.org.uk
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    How To Help Someone Struggling with Mental Health issues

    How To Help Someone Struggling with Mental Health issues