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Campaign group anger at length of investigation into death of Leon Briggs

A campaign group has hit out after it was revealed that an investigation into the death of a father of two who died in police custody could take months, if not years to complete.

The IPCC today issued an update about its probe into the death of Leon Briggs at Luton Police Station last November..

It has promised the investigation will be thorough but the Justice For Leon campaign says it has little faith in the outcome.

Police watchdog seized CCTV from custody suite

The IPCC has seized CCTV from the custody suite and the yard at Luton police station. The CCTV has been reviewed and parts of it have been enhanced.

The police van used to transport Mr Briggs to custody was not fitted with internal CCTV equipment.

It was fitted with an external CCTV camera mounted on the roof of the van.

The IPCC examined the available footage from the CCTV camera with an independent engineer who determined no footage was available from 4 November 2013.

CCTV from a number of shops and premises on Marsh Road and Willow Way as well as from local authority cameras was also seized in the days after Mr Briggs’ death.

A cause of death has yet to be established.

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Statements taken from around 150 witnesses

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.

Watchdog to publish update into Leon Briggs investigation

Leon Briggs Credit: ITV News Anglia

A police watchdog is to publish an update into its investigation of the death of a Luton man.

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

The investigation is considering potential offences of gross negligence/unlawful act manslaughter, misconduct in public office, and/or offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

All have provided accounts to the IPCC, and it is likely that they will be interviewed again as the investigation continues.

Inquest opens into death of Leon Briggs

Leon Briggs Credit: ITV News Anglia

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.

Inquest opens into custody death

Leon Briggs Credit: ITV Anglia

An inquest will open today into the death of a man in police custody in Bedfordshire.

Leon Briggs, who was 39 years old, was arrested in Luton in November and taken to the town's police station.

He died later in hospital. Friends and family recently attended a meeting with police to discuss their concerns about the case.

Five police officers and two civilian staff have been interviewed by Independent Police Complaints Commission investigators.

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Public meeting held over death of Leon Briggs

A community leader says a meeting held to provide answers over the death of a man in police custody in Luton helped avoid a possible riot.

Around 250 people turned up last night, to ask questions about what happened to Leon Briggs.

He died last Monday, after being detained in a street, under the Mental Health Act. Nick Quraishi reports.

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.

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.

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