1. ITV Report

Reprimand for PCC who shared custody death information

Leon Briggs, who died in police custody. Photo:

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Bedfordshire, Olly Martins, has received a written reprimand for disclosing "confidential information" about the death of a man held in police custody.

Mr Martins passed on information about the death of Leon Briggs to a friend who works in the Home Office.

Leon Briggs, 39, died in police custody on November 4th last year after being detained under the Mental Health Act.

Today, Martins appeared before the county's Police and Crime Panel where he admitted passing on the information.

A Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel spokesman said: "The Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel takes any disclosure of confidential information very seriously. The panel considered all the information that was submitted as part of this review and has spoken to the commissioner about his actions.

"The panel will be issuing a written reprimand to the commissioner emphasising that any further breaches of confidentiality will not be tolerated."

A statement issued on Mr Martins's behalf said: "To my great regret I discussed, purely with a close associate, some information that had been provided to me in my role as Police and Crime Commissioner regarding the death of Leon Briggs.

"Unfortunately, the person to whom I spoke did not appreciate the sensitivity of what had been said, nor indeed completely understand it, and went on to repeat a garbled interpretation of it to a third party. Every effort, I believe successfully, was made to prevent any further dissemination of these comments."

Mr Martins said he accepted the reprimand from the Police and Crime Panel and remained committed to ensuring lessons were learned following Mr Briggs' death.

Mr Briggs died after he was restrained and detained by Bedfordshire Police at the junction of Marsh Road and Willow Way in Luton, and taken to Luton police station.

Five police officers and two civilian members of staff in the force have been interviewed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission on suspicion of gross negligence and manslaughter, misconduct in public office and offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act.