Telford 'jump' call onlookers condemned by police

Image caption, The man died after falling from the building on Saturday afternoon

Police have condemned onlookers who shouted "jump" and filmed a distressed man officers were trying to talk down from a tall building.

One witness said she was "sickened" by the scene in Telford, Shropshire.

West Mercia Police said it was "pretty appalling" as the man was "clearly in need of support and assistance".

The man fell and was pronounced dead at about 15:40 GMT on Saturday. Police warned they could take action against anyone sharing the footage.

'Dispose of material'

The force said officers had been called at 13:10 GMT following concerns for a man's safety.

Det Sgt Mark O'Connor said: "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 said police were subsequently made aware of members of the public posting some negative comments about the incident on social media.

"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," he said.

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

'Just so sad'

Witness Chloe Jones said about 20 people, mainly teenagers, but "some grown men", were filming the incident unfold.

"As we walked past, there were some youths shouting 'Go on, do it - jump'," she said.

"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 home and watch it if that poor man jumps?'"

She said she was shocked at how people could not see "the obvious state" the man was in.

"It was almost like a form of entertainment for them... kids were screaming, running to the other side to see if they could get a better view," she said.

"It was just so sad."

The man has yet to be formally identified and the police investigation has now been referred to the coroner, Det Sgt O'Connor said.

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