Highlands & Islands

Wick harbour death man Kevin McLeod's case probed

Kevin McLeod
Image caption Kevin McLeod's family believe his death in 1997 was not an accident

A watchdog has completed its investigation into a police force's handling of a complaint from the family of a man who died 16 years ago.

Kevin McLeod's body was found in Wick harbour in February 1997. His death was treated as accidental.

His family claim officers were instructed by the procurator fiscal to treat it as potential murder.

It is understood Police Scotland has now been asked to examine whether this was the case.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) confirmed it had completed its review of the family's complaint.

A spokesperson said the commissioner had made a single recommendation. Police Scotland said it was considering the action recommended.

Northern Constabulary, which was merged with other forces to form Police Scotland, treated Mr McLeod's death as accidental.

His family, however, have consistently criticised the force over its investigation.

'Institutional arrogance'

Their most recent complaint centres on the claim that the procurator fiscal instructed the force to carry out a murder investigation.

In 2007, the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland (PCCS) said Northern Constabulary behaved with "institutional arrogance" in the way it handled earlier complaints from Mr McLeod's parents, Hugh and June McLeod.

It ordered the then chief constable, Ian Latimer, to apologise in person to his relatives, which the senior officer did.

Following the latest development, a spokeswoman for the PIRC said: "The commissioner's review of this case is now complete and a report has been sent to the family and Police Scotland.

"The commissioner made a single recommendation in his report, which is for Police Scotland to implement."

A police spokesperson said: "We have received the report from the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner and are currently considering the recommendation that has been made."

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