IPCC: Taking a 'critical look' at the way deaths are investigated
IPCC chairwoman Dame Anne Owers said that Sean Rigg's family had shown "determination and dignity" over a long period. She added:
We are already taking a critical look at the way we investigate deaths in general and this specific review, and the lessons to be learnt from it, will play an important part in the way that we develop and change our approach.
Deputy Chair of the IPCC Deborah Glass has replied:
While this does not rule out the possibility of the MPS file having been leaked, it also raises other possibilities, either that someone who may have been connected to the investigation or in possession of material had a conversation with a reporter, or that the author/s of the articles were reporting speculatively – I note, for example, the references in both stories to “…it is understood that..."
While I fully understand your concerns about these press reports, it appears to me that the public interest is best served by ensuring that the MPS [Met Police] are indeed carrying out a robust and thorough investigation into the initial incident and its aftermath.
Northumbria Police has offered its condolences to relatives of a 43-year-old man who died in police custody today.
The man, who has not been named, was arrested on warrant on Thursday at his home in Houghton.
He was taken into custody after failing to appear at Gateshead Magistrates' Court on Tuesday for possessing an offensive weapon, and was seen by police doctors during his time in custody, the force said.
Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth said:
We offer our sincere condolences to this man's family and friends at what is clearly a difficult time for them.
Any death in police custody irrespective of the circumstances must be immediately referred to the IPCC and we are working with them to fully assist with their investigation.
Deaths in police custody are fortunately relatively uncommon and there were no custody deaths in the Northumbria Police area last year.
Investigation as 43-year-old man dies in police custody
A probe has been launched after a 43-year-old man died in police custody today.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission confirmed it is investigating the death at Washington Police Station in Northumbria in the early hours of this morning.
The man, who has not been named, had been arrested on a warrant on Thursday for failing to appear at court and was being held in police cells pending a court appearance, the IPCC said.
An IPCC spokesman added:
The available records indicate police officers requested the attendance of a police doctor in the evening on Friday 29 March and an ambulance was called at around 11:30 pm.
The man was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead where he was pronounced dead at around 1am today.
His next of kin have been informed and a post-mortem will take place later this afternoon. IPCC family liaison managers will meet with the man's family at the earliest opportunity to explain our role and to update them on our investigation.
IPCC to investigate Tyneside man's death in custody
The death of a man in custody who had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly is being investigated by the police watchdog.
The 34-year-old man was arrested by Northumbria Police and taken to a police station in South Tyneside last night.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said he was booked into custody at 8.25pm last night and was subject to 15 minutes of checks, but was found in his cell not breathing shortly after 10pm.
Paramedics were not able to resuscitate him and pronounced him dead at 11:44pm.
IPCC commissioner Nicholas Long said: "Any death in custody is a very serious matter and we will independently investigate to establish exactly what has happened in this case."
Local police in Greenwich were not notified that Edgington was living in the area.
Police and police staff did not carry out a police national computer check on Edgington which would have alerted them to her previous conviction for manslaughter.
Officers missed an opportunity to use their powers under the Mental Health Act when Edgington tried to leave an A&E department shortly after she arrived with police.
Edgington's second 999 call from an A&E department was downgraded because she was considered to be in a place of safety and an officer was not asked to return despite Edgington saying she could be very dangerous.
The police only contacted the hospital after a fourth call had been received.
Met police action over rape claims 'catastrophic' for women
The Women's Resource Centre, a charity which supports women's organisations has condemned Metropolitan Police after an IPCC report found officers had pressurised women to drop rape claims:
Yet another catastrophic outcome for women and children as a result of serious and endemic institutionalised failings within the police, and even more worryingly within a specific unit of the police set up to deal with rape and sexual violence.
They are obviously not fit for purpose! When will the institutionalised sexism obviously rife across the country be properly and satisfactorily addressed? Furthermore, in the wake of £3billion worth of cuts to the women’s sector under this coalition government, when will the life-saving work of women's charitable organisations be fully resourced to ensure appropriate support is available to women who have experienced such heinous crimes?
The Metropolitan Police has issued the following statement in reaction to a highly-critical report on practices in the Southwark Sapphire Unit, a department dedicated to investigating rapes.
"The Metropolitan Police Service welcomes the findings of the IPCC report into the investigation of rape on Southwark borough between July 2008 and September 2009.
"We have for some time acknowledged that previous investigation of rape and serious sexual assault in the MPS was below standard. The activities identified in this report came during that era and highlight specific issues within Southwark which resulted in unacceptable actions by local officers.
"It is as a result of such failings that we have made substantial changes to the investigation of rape and serious sexual assault, both in terms of structure and revised working practices."In 2009 Sapphire was moved to Specialist Crime and Operations to increase the focus on victim care and improve investigation standards. This has led to increased supervision and the Met being much better placed to identify any wrongdoing and refer it to the IPCC. The number of prosecutions has increased by 18% and victim care has improved significantly.
"We are not complacent and know there is always more that can be done to improve our service to victims. That is why we continue to work closely with key partners including the CPS, the Havens and charities such as Rape Crisis. There is also more focused engagement with external scrutiny bodies ensuring the MPS learns lessons and continues to improve performance and public confidence."