Independent Police Complaints Commission
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IPCC publishes report from investigation into Cleveland detention incident

The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into an incident in which a woman became unwell in Cleveland Police custody has found no misconduct by officers but has identified some areas of learning for the force.

The woman suffered a drugs overdose while in custody in January 2015 and a medical examination found she had concealed drugs internally.

The IPCC conducted an independent investigation into the incident which included the following conclusions:

  1. The officers were correct in conducting a strip search based on the information they had;
  2. The information they had did not justify a more intimate search being conducted;
  3. The risk assessments carried out while the woman was in custody lacked consistency and quality. As a result her supervision was not as obtrusive as it could have been.
  4. The supervision of the woman while she was in hospital was not adequate and provided opportunities for her to retain and/or obtain drugs.

The investigation found evidence of good policing, but also found a number of very basic errors. Although it was concluded that no single officer had a case to answer for misconduct, there was a need for learning. As a result, the IPCC made a series of recommendations to Cleveland Police to improve training, risk assessments, management and supervision.

The investigation report can be found here.

The recommendations can be found here.


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