Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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IPCC renews appeal for witnesses in the hours leading up to the death of Bijan Ebrahimi
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is today, Thursday 13th February, renewing its appeal to witnesses who were present, saw, heard or know anything in relation to Bijan Ebrahimi’s contact with police and with local residents in the days, weeks and hours before his murder in Bristol in July 2013. In addition investigators would like to speak to anyone with any information relating to Mr Ebrahimi’s contact with police over the years.
IPCC investigators are conducting house to house enquiries and speaking to local residents who may have seen anything that could help the investigation in to the actions of Avon and Somerset officers. This follows a significant letter drop carried out by the IPCC earlier this week.
This renewed witness appeal is to assist the IPCC’s investigation in understanding how Avon and Somerset Police officers dealt with Mr Ebrahimi in the days leading up to his death – in particular in arresting him for alleged breach of the peace on 11July 2013. This line of investigation is a direct result of the IPCC’s initial enquiries and is part of the wider investigation in to police contact with Mr Ebrahimi and his murder following this contact. Concerns have been expressed about how Mr Ebrahimi was treated by officers on the 11 July and in the run up to his murder on the 14 July.
This witness appeal supports the ongoing IPCC investigation. Between September and November 2013 three police constables were criminally interviewed by the IPCC. They were all interviewed under criminal caution for the potential offence of misconduct in a public office. These three officers are the two police constables who attended Capgrave Crescent on the evening of 11 July, and another constable who was made aware of issues regarding Mr Ebrahimi the following day.
An inspector, sergeant and a constable who dealt with Mr Ebrahimi in custody on 12 July have been interviewed for gross misconduct. We have since withdrawn the notice for gross misconduct against the inspector who has been advised that he is no longer subject to IPCC investigation. A control room supervisor, a dispatcher and four call handlers who dealt with phone calls from Mr Ebrahimi have also been interviewed by the IPCC for gross misconduct.
IPCC investigators have previously carried out house-to-house inquiries in the Capgrave Crescent area and have taken statements from members of the public. We have gained witness statements from other police officers and a healthcare nurse, and have had calls made to Avon and Somerset Police by Mr Ebrahimi transcribed. Investigators have reviewed CCTV evidence from the custody suite at Broadbury Road Police Station. We are taking into account force and national policies on ASB, hate crime, and dealing with vulnerable people.
The IPCC is also investigating a number of reports of earlier police contact with Mr Ebrahimi going back a number of years, and examining how incidents were dealt with, and any police interaction with other agencies. If anyone has any evidence about how Mr Ebrahimi was treated by the police over the years, please contact the IPCC.
IPCC Commissioner Jan Williams said: "Today’s renewed witness appeal re-enforces our quest to investigate thoroughly and leave no stone unturned. We want to hear from anyone who was present in Capgrave Crescent on the 11 July - or witnessed anything significant on any other date over that weekend. Now that the murder trial has concluded and the perpetrators have been brought to justice, we would urge people to come forward with any information they have in relation to Mr Ebrahimi and the public order situation in Capgrave Crescent that led to his arrest on the 11 July 2013. Anything that people may have seen or heard is important, no matter how insignificant someone thinks it may be.
"As this investigation unfolds it is imperative that we address all the evidence emerging –so that we get to the truth of what happened.
"We continue to update Mr Ebrahimi’s family on progress in the investigation and I am acutely aware of the difficult time they continue to go through. I have assured Mr Ebrahimi’s family that we are carrying out a thorough and robust independent inquiry into police contact and that we are doing so as swiftly as we can.”
Anyone who has any information can speak to our investigators who will be at Capgrave Cresent on 0800 096 9075 or contact the IPCC on firstname.lastname@example.org