Dorset Police referred to watchdog after two teens found dead at Bridport nature reserve

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Dorset Police has referred itself to the policing watchdog after two teenagers were found dead at a nature reserve.

The bodies of the boy and girl, both in their late teens, were found at Bothenhampton Reservoir, near Bridport, on the morning of January 25.

Police officers attended and found no suspicious circumstances, the force said.

In a statement, the force said: "Dorset Police has made a mandatory referral to the IOPC in line with procedures related to the death or serious injury of an individual."

The teens’ next of kin have been been informed and the coroner notified, it added.

“Dorset Police has made a mandatory referral to the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) in line with procedures related to the death or serious injury of an individual,” a spokeswoman said.

“We await further guidance from the IOPC on the matter.”

By law, certain incidents must be automatically referred to the IOPC, including when someone had direct or indirect contact with the police “when or shortly before they were seriously injured and died”.

Forces are only required to make a referral “where the contact may have caused or contributed to the death or injury”.

A spokesman for the IOPC said: “We can confirm that we have received a mandatory referral today from Dorset Police relating to prior police contact with two teenagers who were sadly found dead at Bothenhampton Reservoir, Wych Hill, on January 25.

“We are currently assessing the available information to determine what further action may be required from us.”