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Southern Update w/c 12 July

By DPF Admin19th August 2013August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Southern Updates

Kent officers 'decline to answer questions' in restraint death probe

Four officers have declined to answer investigators' questions about the death of a 21-year-old man who had been restrained by Kent Police.

Sean Wilkes had been at a party in Folkestone on 6 July.

He was restrained by four officers, became unwell and died.

A police spokesman said the four attended interviews with the Independent Police Complaints Commission “but to date have declined to answer questions”.

“Following the interviews two of the officers have provided additional statements,” the spokesman said.

Mr Wilkes had been restrained by members of the public in Richmond Street, police said.

Two officers then took over the restraint, and they were joined by two additional officers.

Mr Wilkes became unwell and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has spoken to a number of witnesses.

IPCC Commissioner Mary Cunneen said: “We are beginning to build up a picture of the circumstances surrounding what happened to Sean.

“It is important in tragic cases such as this involving a death that those officers who were present fully assist our independent investigation and answer our questions so we can understand what happened.”

Anyone who saw what happened in Richmond Street between 22:20 BST on6 July and 01:00 BST on 7 July is urged to contact IPCC investigators.

Source and image source.

Hampshire police face probe over Stanbridge Earls School

Hampshire's police and crime commissioner has ordered a probe into the county's force over a complaint relating to a scandal-hit school.

Simon Hayes acted after receiving a formal complaint about the investigation into a pupil's rape claim at Stanbridge Earls School near Romsey.

Mr Hayes's office has refused to reveal details of the complaint, saying it would be “inappropriate”.

However it confirmed another force has been asked to probe the allegations.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said the force was “aware of the complaint”.

The force is already probing its officers' handling of a pupil's allegation that she was raped twice by fellow students.

Hampshire Constabulary said it thoroughly investigated the allegations but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute.

The force has started a “comprehensive review” into its handling of the case and is investigating sexual abuse claims by another girl.

Stanbridge Earls, which caters for children with special educational needs, is under scrutiny from the Department for Education, which gave it until the end of the month to present an “action plan” after recent findings by Ofsted.

Last year, the watchdog described the school as “outstanding”, but a review of the inspections has found they failed to get “underneath concerns”.

A tribunal in January found the school, which caters for pupils aged 10 to 19, had failed to protect a “vulnerable” pupil.

Her parents started legal action on discrimination grounds when she was excluded, after making the allegation of rape.

The tribunal heard the school believed she had consented and excluded her for breaking rules by having sex on its grounds.

Three Ofsted inspections since the tribunal's findings have revealed serious concerns about safeguarding.

Meanwhile Stanbridge Earls has extended its deadline for parents to register pupils for next term in a bid to avoid closure.

The board of trustees said 82 children had so far been enrolled for September, but a minimum of 90 were needed “to be viable for next term in financial and educational terms”.

A proposed takeover of the school recently fell through amid concerns over pupil numbers next term.

Parents have now been given until Friday, 16 August, to pay their fees .

The school had 189 registered students in June.


Independent investigation in to Surrey Police contact with man before his death in Guildford

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating an incident in Guildford after a 34-year-old man became seriously unwell while under arrest by Surrey Police.

Jan McLean was arrested at an address in Boxgrove Park and conveyed to Guildford Police Station on Monday, 12 August.

When the police van arrived at the station, at around 9.30pm, Mr McLean was visibly unwell. He was taken to hospital by ambulance where he died on Wednesday evening.

A post-mortem was carried out on Thursday, 15 August, which proved inconclusive.

Following a referral by Surrey Police the IPCC has begun an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding police contact with Mr McLean.

Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said:

“This is a tragic loss of a young life and my thoughts are with Mr McLean’s family at this difficult time.

“We have met Mr McLean’s family to explain our role, outline the investigation to them and as much as possible answer their questions at this early stage.

“I would like to assure Mr McLean’s family we are independent of the police and our investigation will piece together evidence in order to build up a picture of the circumstances surrounding his death.”


IPCC outlines terms of independent investigation in to MPS contact with Linah Keza before her death

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation is underway in to previous police contact by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers and Linah Keza.

Ms Keza, 29, was found stabbed in Leyton on Wednesday, 31 July. The MPS referred the matter to the IPCC as it became apparent that Ms Keza made contact with MPS officers in the days leading up to her death.

IPCC investigators are examining the circumstances surrounding police contact with Ms Keza and her former partner between 23 and 31 July. The investigation is also looking at what information, dating back to 2010, was available to officers between 23 and 31 July to assess whether appropriate risk assessments were carried out and whether policies and procedures were adhered to.

IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said:

“Our investigation will seek to identify the level of contact and information known to Metropolitan Police officers before Linah’s tragic death.

“We have made contact with Ms Keza’s family and explained why we are involved and outlined our investigation to them.

“It is right that we are mindful a murder investigation is underway therefore at this stage it is not possible to expand further on the specific details regarding police contact with Ms Keza.

“I would like to assure Ms Keza’s family that our investigation will be thorough and rigorous in determining the circumstances surrounding police contact with their loved one before her death.”


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