SOUTH Yorkshire Police’s Deputy Chief Constable has apologised to the family of a 21-year-old man found dead after the force failed to send up a helicopter to help find him.
Bob Dyson said one member of staff had been reprimanded, another had left and two received extra training following an internal investigation into the search for Danny Cavill.
The 21-year-old, of Rotherham, was found hanged at Sitwell Park Golf Club last year.
He had contacted friends and threatened to harm himself after being thrown out of a Rotherham nightclub.
Police were alerted but a helicopter crew was not sent up to help in the search for him because staff were due to knock off duty, his inquest heard.
A night-time air support staff declined to take the helicopter up as their shift was due to end 20 minutes later.
The court was told because a life was ‘at risk’ the shift should have been extended by an hour and Danny could have been saved.
The case was referred informally the IPCC - the police watchdog - which authorised an internal enquiry.
DCC Dyson said: “On behalf of the force, I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to Danny’s family and apologise for the shortcomings identified by the coroner. As a force, we accept the criticism of the coroner with regards to the shortcomings of the response on this occasion.
“Unfortunately, we will never know if a more swift response or the assistance of the force helicopter would have meant Danny was found before this tragedy occurred.
“When information is received indicating a concern for life, the force incident manager - an officer of inspector rank whose role it is to make decisions in response to critical incidents - should be notified either by a call handler, or by a supervising officer.
“On this occasion this did not happen and as a result resources which may have helped to find Danny before he died were not deployed.”
DCC Dyson said the force had made changes to its procedures to prevent a similar situation occurring in the future.
He said incidents in which there was concern for the welfare of someone would be automatically referred to supervisors.