Teenager drowns in canal while fleeing police

Officers called by 17-year-old's family who were 'concerned for his welfare'

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A teenager has drowned after he went into a canal while fleeing police officers who were called to help the youth by his family, police have said.

Officers went to a house in Clapton, London, at about 3pm on Wednesday because the 17-year-old’s family were “concerned for his welfare”, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

But when they arrived they found the teenager “had left the house by smashing a window prior to police arrival” at 3.12pm. Police began searching for him and at about 3.50pm “somebody matching the description of the male was seen by officers on Hackney Marshes”.

“On seeing police, the male ran off. Officers tried to stop the male in order to assist him, but, prior to police officers reaching him, the male entered the canal near to Lea Bridge Road,” Scotland Yard said.

“A police officer entered the canal in an attempt to rescue him, but the male went under the water.”

The Marine Policing Unit, a police helicopter, police dog units and London Fire Brigade were all involved in the subsequent search.

But the police statement said: “At around 5.20pm, the body of a male was recovered from the water by officers from the Met's Marine Policing Unit. We await a post-mortem examination and formal identification.”

The Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and has made a mandatory referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, they added.