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An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into a Cheshire Police Operation last year has highlighted the forces lack of additional specialist search resources as a concern.

It relates to a case that Cheshire Constabulary dealt with into the death of 19-year-old Connor Smith from Widnes.

Connor, who suffered from mental health problems, was discovered in bushes close to his home in Widnes after he ran from ambulance staff.

His inquest concluded that his death was drug related following combined toxicity.

Cheshire Police referred the case to the IPCC who say there were no misconduct issues and separate complaints about their effectiveness were NOT upheld.

But there was only one Police Search Adviser on duty at the time who was dealing with another serious case.

As a result – the force has accepted the conclusions and are looking to address them.

Both organisations share their condolences with Connors family.

In a statement, Chief Superintendent Nick Bailey, head of Professional Standards, said: “Firstly, I would like to pass on my condolences to Connor’s family – the past six months have been an extremely difficult time for them.

“The action taken by the force in relation to Connor’s disappearance on 30 July 2016 has been independently reviewed after being referred to the Independent Police Complaints’ Commission.

“We have seen a copy of the draft report and are satisfied that officers acted appropriately and proportionately and pursued all lines of enquiry based on the information available at the time.

“We always work closely alongside the IPCC to address any issues of concern or points of learning. In this case, no significant issues have been identified.”

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