Another tragic loss of a life

Published on 5 January 2019

Another tragic loss of a life

Man found dead at Huntcliff in Saltburn was 54-year-old Cleveland Police detective.

The Cleveland Police Force has paid tribute to a detective who was 'extremely well regarded by his colleagues'. 

A serving Detective Inspector from Cleveland Police has been found dead at Huntcliff in Saltburn. The body of 54-year-old Richie Baker was found at the cliffs on Thursday afternoon after officers responded to reports of concerns for the welfare of a man. Det Insp Baker had 28 years of service with Cleveland Police and the force said he was extremely well regarded by his colleagues. Inquiries into the death are ongoing.

A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: "Yesterday afternoon officers were sent to an incident at Huntcliff in Saltburn where unfortunately a man’s body was found. Sadly, we can also confirm that the man was a serving Cleveland Police Officer, Detective Inspector Richie Baker. Richie’s family has been informed and our thoughts and sympathies are with them at this time. He was 54 years old and he had 28 years’ service with Cleveland Police. Richie was part of a strong, close team and was extremely well regarded by his colleagues. Inquiries into the circumstances surrounding his death are on-going and trained officers are supporting Richie’s family and colleagues. His family has asked for privacy at this very difficult time and we would urge that everyone respects this.”

The Coastguard helicopter was spotted trawling the cliffs on Thursday by bystanders. Initial reports from an eyewitness had suggested that someone had been rescued on the cliffs, but the police have now revealed what happened. A spokesperson for the North East Ambulance service also confirmed that they dispatched two double crewed ambulances at 3.40pm. 

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Attending such incidents can have a profound impact on emergency services personnel, especially when the victim is a close friend or respected work colleague. Regular exposure to such devastating incidents can lead to significant distress for even well-seasoned first responders which is why it is imperative that specialist support facilities exist, to help minimise the risk of ongoing trauma. 

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