Custody death probe

The IPCC has launched a criminal investigation after the death of a 39-year-old man in police custody in Luton.

Chief Constable on investigation into death of Leon Briggs

The Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police has denied 'closing ranks' after the death of a man in custody.

Leon Briggs died at Luton police station after being detained under the Mental Health Act.

Friends and family of Mr Briggs demanded answers from the force at a public meeting in Luton last night. Five police officers and two support staff have been suspended while an investigation is carried out.

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Five officers and two support staff suspended after death of man in custody

Five police officers and two support staff who are under investigation after the death of a man in custody at Luton police station were tonight suspended from duty.

Bedfordshire Police chief constable Colette Paul said the suspension "in no way jumps to any conclusion" about the investigation currently being carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) police watchdog.

Mr Briggs, 39, described by his family as a "kind, loyal, intelligent" father, died after being detained at Luton police station under the Mental Health Act on Monday.

The suspension has been made after an initial assessment by the IPCC, Ms Paul said.

"Their suspension in no way jumps to any conclusion about the outcome of the investigation, but ensures absolute assurance of neutrality and transparency as the IPCC investigation progresses. The suspension of each member of staff will remain under constant review.

"We continue to co-operate with the investigation to help provide Mr Briggs' family, the Coroner and the IPCC with accurate information about how and why Mr Briggs died."

– Bedfordshire Police chief constable Colette Paul

Chief Constable releases statement over death

Colette Paul Credit: Bedfordshire Police

The officers under investigation following the death of Leon Briggs have today been suspended from duty following an initial assessment by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Their suspension in no way jumps to any conclusion about the outcome of the investigation but ensures absolute assurance of neutrality and transparency as the IPCC investigation progresses. The suspension of each member of staff will remain under constant review.

We continue to co-operate with the investigation to help provide Mr Briggs’ family, the Coroner and the IPCC with accurate information about how and why Mr Briggs died.

I want to express my sympathy to the family of Leon Briggs at this difficult time. Mr Briggs’ family are being supported by IPCC family liaison managers at this sad time.Colette Paul Chief Constable.

Community meeting over police custody death

A community meeting's being held in Luton this evening to discuss concerns over the death of a man in police custody.

A shrine's been set up in memory of Leon Briggs who died after being detained at Luton police station under the Mental Health Act.

A meeting's being held at the Carnival Arts Centre at 8pm tonight. Representatives of Mr Brigg's family are expected to attend, along with the police and the IPCC, who are investigating what happened.

Family pay tribute to loving father

Tributes outside Luton police station
Tributes outside Luton police station Credit: ITV Anglia

Leon Briggs's family said they were deeply shocked by his sudden death. They added: "Leon was a loving father, son and brother. He was a kind, loyal, intelligent, caring person who put his family and others first.

"We have a lot of questions about why he was put through this terrifying ordeal and why he died. We feel he has been let down by the authorities at a time when he should have been provided with specialist care and support."

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Chief sends sympathy to bereaved family

Colette Paul
Colette Paul Credit: Bedfordshire Police

The Chief Constable of Bedfordshire has issued a statement expressing sympathy for the family of a man who died in police custody.

Colette Paul said said Bedfordshire Police had referred the case immediately to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

She added: 'We have and will do all we can to co-operate with the investigation to help provide Mr Briggs’ family, the Coroner and the IPCC with accurate information about how and why Mr Briggs died.'

Bedfordshire Police say family liaison officers are helping the Briggs family.

IPCC statement over Luton custody death

The Independent Police Complaints Commission says it will be looking into whether police officers should face criminal investigation after the death of 39-year-old Leon Briggs in custody.

At this stage we believe there is an indication that potential criminal offences may have been committed including gross negligence and/or unlawful act manslaughter, misconduct in public office, and/or offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974".

"We will also be considering whether any potential disciplinary offences have been committed."

– Mary Cunneen, IPCC commissioner

Police under investigation over custody death

A police watchdog has launched a criminal investigation after a 39-year-old Luton man died in custody.

Leon Briggs, described by his family as a "kind, loyal, intelligent" father, died after being detained at Luton police station under the Mental Health Act on Monday.

Mr Briggs was arrested by officers from Bedfordshire Police when members of the public reported concerns about his behaviour. Upon falling ill, he was taken from the station to Luton and Dunstable Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.