Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Kent Police officers did not breach standards of behaviour during death in custody of Carl Maynard

Kent Police officers who arrested a man who later died after swallowing a bag of drugs did not breach standards of professional behaviour.

Carl Maynard, 29, was arrested at a property in Maidstone at about 3pm, 13 October, 2017.

He was transported to Tonbridge Police station where he collapsed. South East Coast ambulance services were called and medical assistance provided but Mr Maynard was pronounced dead.

A referral was made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and an investigationwas launched.

We completed our investigation in August 2018.

We concluded that the officers had sufficient grounds to enter Mr Maynard’s home address and carry out the arrest, that they took steps to try and find out if Mr Maynard has swallowed illegal substances, and that although they could have informed the custody sergeant more swiftly of the possibility drugs had been ingested, that this did not constitute a breach of standards of behaviour.

We did advise that the officers receive management action about the use of certain legal powers to enter a property, and also that two officers be reminded about correct use of body worn cameras.

As part of our investigation we made a quick time learning recommendation to update its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on ‘Defendant Custody Management’ in circumstances where an officer knows or suspects a person is in urgent need of medical attention, and the force has agreed to do so.

IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green yesterday said:

“The death of Mr Maynard is tragic and my sympathies are with his family and friends and all involved.

“Our investigation gathered evidence that suggested the officers repeatedly asked if Mr Maynard had swallowed drugs, and that during the arrest and transportation he did not show any signs of ill health. Upon arrival at Tonbridge Custody Suite, the officers could have informed the sergeant that they had concerns Mr Maynard may have swallowed a substance, but this was not something we felt could be considered to be a breach of professional standards.

“I am pleased that Kent Police accepted a learning recommendation we made regarding their standard operating procedure to bring it in line with national policy.”


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