SUSSEX Police referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after two officers had contact with a man who only minutes later killed himself.

Shortly before his death, Jon Nsangue, 21, had been picked up by police in Lewes Road before being returned by the officers to his home in The Avenue, Brighton.

One minute after the officers left the area, Jon walked to woodland at Jacob’s Ladder, near Manton Road, and took his own life. He had celebrated his 21st birthday with friends in Brighton the night before.

Under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, police have emergency powers if they believe a person has a mental disorder, is in a public place and needs immediate help.

In such instances, police have the power to take the person to a place of safety, where their mental health will be assessed.

An inquest heard that several of Jon’s friends believed police should have exercised these powers when they found him in Lewes Road.

Sarah Clarke, the assistant coroner for Brighton and Hove, said the force had referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct following the incident.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “This was referred to the IOPC as a matter of course owing to the prior police contact.

“There was no misconduct matter identified for any officers involved, therefore it was filed with no further action.”