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Draft guidance for police following death or serious injury angers officers' organisation
27.2.17
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"If approved by the Home Secretary, all police forces in England and Wales will be obliged to make use of the guidance in the event of fatalities or serious injuries resulting from firearms operations, incidents in custody or other police contact.

The guidance sets out what the IPCC will expect following these incidents...

Separating officers after an incident to prevent conferring is designed to ensure that officers provide individual accounts of what they themselves saw, heard and did. This avoids actual or perceived collusion or their accounts being unintentionally influenced by those of others. This could affect the integrity of evidence and damage public confidence in the process. The IPCC has repeatedly stressed that this should happen as soon as it is operationally safe to do so – for example, during an ongoing terrorist incident, the police operation takes precedence and any separation of officers would obviously wait until the risk to lives had passed."

See: IPCC publishes guidance for use following a death or serious injury involving the police (IPCC, link) and the guidance: Draft statutory guidance to the police service on achieving best evidence in death or serious injury matters (pdf)

The head of firearms for the Police Federation of England and Wales, Che Donald, said (Police Oracle, link) that the proposals to seperate officers immediately after an incident were "horrendous" and "a nonsense".

The IPCC's Deputy Chair responded to claims that the proposals would turn officers into suspects by saying (IPCC, link):

"It is only if evidence indicates that a criminal or disciplinary offence may have been committed that a police officer will become a suspect. They will then be afforded all of the safeguards that come with that status."

Background

Mark Duggan coroner raises concerns of ‘police collusion’ (The Voice, link)

Police officers and deaths in custody - is collusion unlawful? (Field Fisher, link)

Deaths in British police custody: no convicted officers since 1969 (OpenDemocracy, link)

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