Police Watchdog Publishes Second Report After Inquest Criticises Police Procedures
The family of a 22-year-old man who took his own life shortly after being released from police detention have welcomed recommended changes to a force’s custody policy.
Logan Peters, was found dead at his home, near Torpoint, Cornwall, on 8 May, 2014, shortly after he was released by Devon and Cornwall Police following his arrest.
Following Logan’s death his family instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help the family establish answers regarding his treatment whilst in custody.
An inquest in 2016 concluded that there was an unlawful period of detention, which rendered the force used in that period of unlawful detention, also unlawful. The coroner also directed the jury that an unlawful strip search had taken place in custody.
A jury found that the series of events which led up to Logan’s death, including the lack of compliance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, as well as the unreasonable force used had a negative impact on Logan’s physical and psychological wellbeing.
The police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, has published the findings of a second investigation into the force in connection with Logan’s death.
The report says that all Devon and Cornwall custody staff will now undergo formal training on how to carry out body searches. The force’s custody procedures will also be updated to clearly outline what legal processes officers should follow and how they should deal with complaints.
Logan’s mum, Tammy, said: “We continue to miss Logan every day
“Our family still feel strongly that the force could have shown more compassion towards Logan during his time in custody, in establishing if he would like to be supported by his family, particularly in light of his vulnerability.
“However, we welcome the news that all custody staff will now undergo training and hope this helps prevent other families having to suffer the pain we have felt since Logan’s death.”
Logan’s father, Rob, added: “I am disappointed that the IOPC hadn’t picked up these failures during the first investigation. It is now two years on from the inquest. I would like to see Devon and Cornwall Police, and other police forces, take steps to prevent these failures from occurring in the first place and learn some real lessons.
“This is especially important with more private police forces being rolled out across the country.”
Expert OpinionLogan’s tragic death highlighted serious concerns about the inadequate understanding by a number of police officers of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, a key piece of legislation in their daily duties.
“Logan’s family have always called for lessons to be learned so his death was not totally in vain. We hope the findings of the IPOC investigation help Devon and Cornwall Police better understand the legal duty the force has to protect everyone in its care so other families don’t have to experience the years of anguish that Logan’s family have felt.” Fiona McGhie - Senior Associate Solicitor
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