POLICE officers and staff "failed in their duties and responsibilities" after a vulnerable woman was found dead almost 17 hours after her social worker raised concerns about her.

The 999 call came in shortly before 5.30pm on August 1 last year when the social worker became worried about the woman who had a major depressive disorder and had attempted to take her own life.

The social worker advised her to go to A&E at Colchester General Hospital but she did not attend and her mobile phone was turned off.

Two police officers arrived at the woman’s house in Clacton at 10.16am the next day. She was found dead.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigated the decision making of police after the 999 call.

A spokesman for the IOPC said: “During the investigation, we found indications a number of police staff employees and officers from Essex Police failed in their duties and responsibilities when they did not seek to resource the incident promptly, or attend the woman’s home in the timescales stipulated by Essex Police guidance.

“We interviewed all police officers under the misconduct caution and obtained statements from the police staff employees.”

Investigators also interviewed a number of police officers and police staff witnesses and obtained data relating to staffing levels, location of officers and other police incidents occurring across the two days.

The IOPC submitted opinion and determinations to Essex Police, and to Suffolk Police, where one of the police staff employees had transferred to.

The force decided two police officers had a case to answer for misconduct for their delayed response to the long overdue priority call to the incident and will receive management action.

Two police staff had no case to answer but would benefit from management action for failing to be diligent in the execution of their duties.

Three other members of police staff had a case to answer for misconduct for not taking sufficient action to identify and attempt to resource the incident over a prolonged period - they will receive management action.

Essex Police will also review shift handover procedures, training provided to staff undertaking acting supervisor duties, and reinforce roles and responsibilities within the Force Control Room.