Bereaved friends have hit out at the police following the death of a man in Ventnor Park in the early hours yesterday (Wednesday).

The body was covered by police but left laying underneath a tree in the middle of the park for more than five hours, in searing heat.

Despite cordons, passers-by could look into the park from the Park Avenue pavement and clearly see the covered up body.

The man's distraught friends gathered nearby, out of a sense of wanting to "be with him" while the police waited for a private ambulance to collect the body.

Police officers at Ventnor ParkPolice officers at Ventnor Park (Image: County Press)

The friends told the County Press "serious questions need to be asked".

One said: "We are distressed at seeing him there with no tent or screen around him. Passers-by are walking past us, stopping and gawping. 

"Children could have walked past and seen him.

"He's a Ventnor boy and to be disrespected like this is horrendous.

"The police said they don't have the resources for a tent to shield him from view, and told us that is just what happens on TV.

"Two police officers have been sitting on a bench near him, when they could have had one of them up here on the road, keeping the public away, for everyone's sake."

They also questioned why on a very hot day, the body was left in the park for so many hours.

The County Press asked Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary for a statement on the claims.

Supt Rob Mitchell, area commander for the Isle of Wight, said: “The death of a family member or friend is a very distressing experience for all those involved and we do understand the concerns that have been raised.

"As with any death like this we need to carry out thorough initial enquiries at the scene before a body can be moved and suitable resources will be utilised as part of this process.

"Tenting or screens may be used to preserve a scene if forensic investigators are required or dependent on the weather conditions, however this is a decision that will be made on a case by case basis.

"In this instance the matter has now been passed to the coroner and no concerns have been raised directly with us by family members.

“If someone is unhappy with the contact they have had with our officers, they can speak to us directly by submitting their feedback through the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary website at

Police were called to the park at 5.33am on Wednesday.

They say the man's family have been informed, the death is being treated as non-suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.

The park remained sealed off for several hours.