Independent Police Complaints Commission
Seni Lewis investigation update
The Independent Police Complaints (IPCC) investigation into police conduct following the death of Olaseni (Seni) Lewis, 23, in south London in September 2010 has moved to the next stage after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced it would not be pursuing any criminal charges in relation to the death.
A report detailing the IPCC’s findings was sent to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) when the investigation concluded in April this year. The IPCC now has to wait for the force’s response to the report before progressing further. This is in line with statutory procedure under the police complaints process.
IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said:
"Having considered a full file of evidence, the CPS has decided there is insufficient evidence to charge any officer with any criminal offence in relation to Seni Lewis’ tragic death.
“Following the conclusion of our investigation I provided a report to the Metropolitan Police Service, detailing our findings as to whether or not any officers involved has a case to answer for either misconduct or gross misconduct and should face disciplinary proceedings.
"Under police complaints procedure, it is now a matter for the force to respond to me with a decision on what action it proposes to take as a result of those findings.”
The IPCC investigation examined the circumstances surrounding police contact with Mr Lewis, together with any action taken or decisions made by police officers, when called on 31 August 2010 to Mr Lewis’ home address, the Mayday Hospital and the Bethlem Royal Hospital. IPCC investigators probed the interactions between police and hospital staff, particularly the police responses to the calls made by each of the hospitals.
The investigation also looked at the appropriateness of any restraints used by police officers, the techniques used and any policies, procedures or guidance in place regarding the restraint of persons suffering from mental ill health.
As a result of the investigation 10 serving police officers and one retired officer, all of whom were involved with restraining Mr Lewis immediately prior to his death, were interviewed under criminal and gross misconduct caution.
The investigation concluded in April 2015 and a full file of evidence was provided to the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether or not criminal charges should follow.
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