AVON and Somerset Police is to refer itself to the police watchdog following the death of a suspect.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in connection with the death of a man who ran off when approached by officers.

He was a suspect in a burglary in the force area and officers tried to speak to him over the county border in Axminster, Devon, on Tuesday morning (July 19).

He was later found unconscious in the Lyme Road area and was taken to hospital, where he died.

A man in his 30s, from the Axminster area, is in custody, police said and Avon and Somerset Police have informed the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The man in custody was initially arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. He was subsequently rearrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

An Avon and Somerset Police statement said its offices had gone to Axminster "to arrest a man wanted on suspicion of burglary".

It added: "At about 10:30 BST they located a vehicle linked to the man parked at a service station on Lyme Road.

"Officers attempted to engage with the occupant. A man inside the vehicle then ran off and was lost to sight."

Devon and Cornwall Police said it was called to assist colleagues in Avon and Somerset Police.

"It was reported to us that the occupants of a car had left the scene in Lyme Road," Devon and Cornwall Police said.

A short time later, the force received a call from a member of the public regarding "a further incident nearby", it said.

"When officers arrived at the scene, the man was unconscious and they immediately administered emergency treatment," it said.

He was taken to hospital in a critical condition where he later died. His next of kin have been informed, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, it said.

Following the victim's death, the man was further arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, it added.

The road was closed for several hours and some cordons are still in place, according to Devon and Cornwall Police.

Devon and Cornwall Police have appealed for anyone with any information to contact them via e-mail at 101@dc.police.uk or call 101 quoting log number 342 of 19/07/21.