Response to end of misconduct hearing following death of Leon Briggs in Bedfordshire Police custody

24 Feb 2020 11:40 AM

Leon Briggs was 39 and experiencing a mental health crisis when he died in police custody in Luton in November 2013.

Leon Briggs’ family have waited many years for the actions of the police officers involved to be scrutinised in public.

The last minute actions of Bedfordshire Police and the most recent delays mean that his family have been denied that right.

Bedfordshire Police’s announcement earlier this week that it would offer no evidence to its disciplinary panel means that the hearing had no prospect of proceeding.

As a responsible public authority confronted with these circumstances, we have regrettably and reluctantly agreed to withdraw our directions to Bedfordshire Police.

Our decision to withdraw did not end these misconduct proceedings – that was the decision of Bedfordshire Police to offer no evidence to its panel.

To ensure public confidence in policing, transparency and accountability, we have always been of the view that the evidence should be put before a Bedfordshire Police disciplinary panel. We will continue to work with the Coroner to provide any evidence we have to the forthcoming inquest.

New legislation which came into effect on 1 February means the IOPC will have more control over these cases in the future.