The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to publish an update into its investigation into the death of Leon Briggs.
Last week I met with representatives from the Luton Community Cohesion Contingency Planning Group and the Justice 4 Leon campaign to provide an update on our investigation into Leon’s death. This follows a meeting with Leon’s family last month.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to go through our investigation and answer any questions they had. Death in custody investigations are especially complex and do take time. I am grateful for the patience of both Leon’s family and the community as our investigation progresses.
– IPCC Commissioner Mary Cunneen
IPCC investigators have taken statements from more than 150 witnesses who saw Mr Briggs on 4 November, including statements from the public, police officers and staff not subject to this investigation, and paramedics and healthcare staff who treated Mr Briggs at the police station and at hospital.
An inquest into the death of a man who died after being detained by police and taken into custody, was opened today.
Leon Briggs, 39, a father of two, was arrested in Marsh Road, Luton on November 4 last year.
He was taken to Luton Police Station but later had to be rushed to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, where he died.
His death is now being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Five police officers and two members of civilian staff have been interviewed under criminal caution by IPCC investigators on suspicion of offences, including gross negligence, manslaughter, misconduct in a public office and offences under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
In a hearing lasting just 3 minutes, the coroner said he was still waiting for the cause of Leon's death to be determined and was awaiting the results of histology and toxicology tests, but he said he was able to release Leon's body to his family.
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.
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
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.