Police ‘failed to spot dead man while searching his house

An investigation has been launched after police officers failed to find the dead body of a man while searching his house.

Police forced entry to George Catley’s home in Leigh after concerns were raised about his welfare but arranged for the property to be boarded up after they searched it because they believed it was empty.

When environmental health officers and housing association staff went into the home 20 days later, they found the body of 65-year-old Mr Catley.

The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) by Greater Manchester Police.

The IPCC has decided to conduct an investigation into the incident.

IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik said: “My sympathies go out to Mr Catley’s family and friends for their loss. It is apparent that Mr Catley had been dead for some time when his body was found.

“Our investigation will determine whether officers made appropriate enquiries in response to the welfare concerns and whether the search of Mr Catley’s home was thorough enough.”

Greater Manchester Police received calls expressing concern for Mr Catley’s welfare on March 13 and April 6, when officers searched the property.

His body was discovered on April 26.

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