AN investigation has concluded that police who responded to a report of a missing young woman acted appropriately in their attempts to return her home safely.

Chirelle Calder, aged 17, died after falling from Marsden Cliffs in South Shields on August 13, 2016. She had been reported missing from a children’s home during the early hours of the same day.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation was completed and in August last year, but was awaiting the outcome of the inquest into her death, which recorded a narrative conclusion on March 20.

A spokesman for the IOPC said: "We looked at the actions of Northumbria Police, including the contact between officers and those who reported Chirelle missing, and the contact police had with her at Marsden Cliffs. We found that all the officers involved – who were treated as witnesses throughout our investigation – acted appropriately."

Chirelle was known to Northumbria Police, having been reported missing from a children’s home in Whiteleas on previous occasions. She was reported missing four times from about 1.40am on August 13 until shortly before she fell from the cliffs.

Officers located Chirelle on two of these occasions and returned her home. She was also assessed by a mental health professional at around 10.40am.

The spokesman continued: "The fourth report to the police at approximately 11.15am reported Chirelle had left the home again and had sent a text message which indicated she had threatened to take her own life. A further report to the police from a member of the public was also made expressing concern for a woman at the edge of Marsden Cliffs.

"Officers were at the scene within minutes and attempted to engage with Chirelle for just over an hour. An off-duty officer from the force, a trained negotiator who happened to be nearby, talked to Chirelle for around 30 minutes while other negotiators made their way to Marsden Cliffs. Despite their attempts, Chirelle stepped off the cliffs shortly after 12.40pm, suffering fatal injuries.

"Our investigator noted there were some discrepancies in the information about Chirelle being a vulnerable person that were given to officers from the police incident logs, but was satisfied they had made reasonable decisions during their contact with her.

"The investigator also concluded that, during the initial contact with Chirelle, it is unlikely the force had sufficient grounds to detain her for a criminal offence or under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983."

IOPC Regional Director the North East, Miranda Biddle, said: “This was clearly a most upsetting incident for everyone involved, and our thoughts are with Chirelle’s family, those who knew her and those who attempted to help her on the day she died.

“It’s clear from our investigation that Northumbria Police responded promptly to the reports of Chirelle being missing, and she was returned home safely on a number of occasions before she sadly left for a fourth time.

"The fact that an off-duty officer came to the aid of his colleagues, who were trying to help Chirelle at Marsden Cliffs, is testament to the efforts made to save her life.”