THE FAMILY of Lamara Bell have hit out at Police Scotland on the anniversary of the M9 tragedy.
Early July marks one year since 25-year-old Lamara and her partner, John Yuill, lay dying in a car for 72 hours after Police Scotland failed to respond to the scene of a crash.
The police yesterday (Mon) released a statement extending their sympathies to the family and highlighting the “extensive work” that has been undertaken to improve their call handling services.
But they also said they were “not in a position to respond to specific questions” about a Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) report that is currently underway.
And now Lamara’s brother, Martin, has publicly slammed the force for “failing” in their duty of care – and said he doesn’t feel the need for them to “say anything at all”.
The police statement, shared on their official Facebook page, reads: “Early July marks the anniversary of the events that tragically led to the deaths of John Yuill and Lamara Bell following a collision on the M9.”
It includes a message from assistant chief constable Kate Thomson, which says: “On behalf of all my colleagues in Police Scotland, I wish to extend my sympathies to the families and friends of Lamara Bell and John Yuill.
“Following last year’s tragic events, a review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland (HMICS) was carried out into our call handling arrangements following which we welcomed their report, findings and recommendations.”
She added: “The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner has also recently passed her report into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of John and Lamara to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Service, and we are currently awaiting the decision of the Lord Advocate as to the next steps.
“Whilst the Crown reviews the PIRC report, we are not in a position to respond to any specific questions or matters raised in respect of this.”
Martin Bell, Lamara’s brother, commented on the post an hour after it was shared, and wrote: “Why release this statement if you can’t comment as its under investigation?
“I don’t see the need to say anything at all. One of your Sergeants left my sister to die. He had a duty of care and failed.”
Martin Yuill, who is John’s father, also left a message on the post but was less damning.
He wrote: “Thank you Police Scotland for your comments.”
It is not the first time that Lamara’s family, from Falkirk, have slammed the force.
Following the publication of a HMICS review last year, her brother said that those responsible needed to “take responsibility”.
“It is clear Police Scotland’s call handling just wasn’t up to scratch,” Martin said. “It was only a matter of time before someone died as a result of that.
“I would like to see someone taking responsibility, but it seems nobody is going to do that.”