Nine police officers have been told they are under investigation for “gross misconduct” after the death of a man who was restrained by police in Catford.

Kevin Clarke was restrained by a number of officers on Polsted Road outside St Dunstan's College on March 9 when his condition suddenly deteriorated.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) reported that the 35-year-old football coach appeared to be having a mental health crisis when he was being restrained.

Once paramedics arrived he was rushed to Lewisham Hospital but died less than two hours later.

The family of Mr Clarke said in a statement they felt "vindicated" that the officers would have to explain their actions.

The statement, issued through their solicitor, Cyrilia Knight Davies of Hudgell Solicitors, said: "On the one hand, we feel vindicated that everyone who dealt with Kevin in his final minutes will be interviewed to explain their actions. Yet, we’re shocked to the core to learn that the police felt it necessary to use the force of nine officers to restrain one unwell man.

"The very fact that the police called an ambulance to provide medical assistance for Kevin tells us that they knew he was unwell and potentially experiencing a mental health episode so we’re struggling to understand the reason for such an excessive response. Kevin must have been petrified in his final minutes and it is agony for us to even think about this.

"We’re keeping focused on getting to the truth. Naturally, we welcome the news that all nine officers may face charges and also the news that the Met’s contact with Kevin earlier on the day he died will be investigated. Only by reviewing all of the circumstances leading up to Kevin’s untimely passing, can we be sure of getting answers.

"We hope the IOPC will be able to complete their investigation swiftly and with the full cooperation of all the officers. Our wish is that the IOPC’s report will lead to systematic change in the way officers treat vulnerable people."

IOPC Regional Director Jonathan Green said: “At this stage, we have established that the decisions made and actions taken to restrain Mr Clarke may be in breach of police professional standards and may amount to gross misconduct.

“This position will be kept under review as the investigation develops and it is important to stress that this does not necessarily mean that misconduct proceedings will follow.

The IOPC announced that nine officers had been told their conduct is under investigation.

Although there is no CCTV footage of the incident, most of the officers had their body worn cameras on.

Mr Green said: “We have also established the MPS were called earlier in the day by staff at the assisted living accommodation where Kevin resided who were concerned with his welfare.

“That previous contact is also the subject of our investigation with those officers currently witnesses in this matter.

“For everyone involved in this tragic incident, it is vital that we continue to carefully examine all the evidence available to us so we can fully understand what happened that day.”