POLICE failed to record a ‘report for concern’ for a vulnerable man who went missing and was later found dead in Musselburgh, the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) has said.

Darran Everett’s body was discovered on the beach near Fisherrow Harbour at 5.50pm on October 13, 2017, nearly 24 hours after he was last seen alive.

His partner had contacted Police Scotland on several occasions between October 12 and 14 to say that he had not returned home.

On the third call, she expressed concern for his welfare and, at the same time, his brother contacted police to report his concerns for him.

It was then that a ‘report for concern’ was actioned and the description provided resulted in his body being identified.

Musselburgh resident and father Mr Everett, 25, had been arrested on October 10 after causing a disturbance in the grounds of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

He was taken to the city’s St Leonard’s Police Station, where he told police staff that he was suicidal and a Vulnerability Assessment Form was filled out.

He appeared at court the next day and was released on bail.

Following this incident, Police Scotland has reviewed its process for dealing with calls about people in custody and has circulated a revised process to service centre staff nationally.

The PIRC report published on Tuesday found that Mr Everett had returned to his partner’s flat on October 12 and was last seen at 7pm before leaving the flat.

His partner phoned police at 11.16pm when he failed to return and asked if he was in custody. She was told that he had not been arrested and she did not report him missing at that time.

The following morning, she phoned police again and told them that Mr Everett had gone missing the previous day and she thought he might be in custody.

A check of the National Custody Database showed he had been in custody earlier in the week and the custody sergeant advised the call handler that he may have been remanded in prison. The call handler in turn relayed this information to Mr Everett’s partner and advised her to contact his solicitor. He also incorrectly told her that he was safe and well.

On Friday, October 13, Mr Everett’s body was discovered by a member of the public near Fisherow harbour and he was taken to Edinburgh City Mortuary. Despite the fact that a distinctive tattoo was noted on his right abdomen, enquiries made by Police Scotland at that time failed to identify him.

At 10.58am on Saturday, October 14, Mr Everett’s partner again called Police Scotland to say that he had now been missing for 48 hours. She said she had contacted his solicitor, who had confirmed that he had not been remanded in prison and that she now wanted to report him as a vulnerable missing person.

While she was on the phone, his brother contacted Police Scotland to also report his concerns and provided a description of him which included a distinctive ‘ninja’ tattoo on his stomach.

As a result, a ‘concern for person’ incident was raised and transferred to the Area Control Room (ACR), which resulted in the body found at the harbour being identified as that of Mr Everett. A post-mortem determined that he died from drowning.

PIRC was directed on October 15, 2017, by the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) to investigate the interactions between Police Scotland and Mr Everett’s partner.

A finding in the PIRC report indicates that Police Scotland custody staff did not correctly complete the G4S Personal Escort Record form to highlight that he was suicidal or at risk of self-harm prior to his transfer into to the care of G4S Court Custody and Prisoner Escort Services.

The PIRC submitted a report to the COPFS on June 11, 2018, and, following agreement with them, a summary of the findings were published this week. No recommendations were made.

Chief Superintendent Mark Hargreaves of the Professional Standards Department said: “Police Scotland recognises the findings of the PIRC’s report and can confirm the service has reviewed its process for dealing with calls about people in custody and has circulated a revised process to address this matter.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of the man who tragically died.”