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Southern Update w/c 18 November

By DPF Admin25th November 2013August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Southern Updates

Kent Police officers suspended over 'assault'

Three Kent Police officers have been suspended from duty after a suspected shoplifter was allegedly assaulted at a department store in Canterbury.

CCTV footage posted online appeared to show officers restraining a suspect by grabbing him by the throat and then repeatedly punching him.

Kent Police said it was investigating an allegation of assault on 11 July.

The force said the three officers had been suspended from duty pending the outcome of the inquiry.

BBC South East correspondent Colin Campbell said the mute footage was recorded by a CCTV camera in what appeared to be a holding room at the back of Debenhams.

It is understood a man in a white sweatshirt was being detained for alleged shoplifting and is now being treated as a victim, he added.

“Officers I have spoken to off the record say there are many unknowns. There is no audio, so nothing can be heard,” he said.

“It is unclear if there are any weapons.”

Dover Express uncovered the footage on YouTube.

Kent Police told the BBC the three officers had been interviewed under caution but not arrested.

The matter is now with the Crown Prosecution Service.

The force also said they referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which handed the issue back to the force.

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes said: “As soon as this incident came to light the officers involved were immediately suspended.

“Kent Police is currently carrying out a thorough investigation into this.”

Source and image source.

Terry Smith Staines custody death police investigated

A criminal investigation into eight Surrey Police officers and two other staff will take place after the death of a man after he was held in custody.

Terry Smith, 33, was detained under the Mental Health Act on 12 November. He died in hospital 24 hours later.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said offences including gross negligence manslaughter may have been committed.

Police said the 10 had been temporarily removed from operational duties.

IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said: “Based on our initial inquiries, I have decided this will be a criminal investigation into eight Surrey police officers and two Surrey police staff who were involved in Terry Smith's detention and restraint.

“At this stage we consider there is an indication that potential criminal offences may have been committed including gross negligence manslaughter, misconduct in public office, and/or offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

“We will also be considering whether any potential disciplinary offences have been committed.”

Mr Smith, a father who lived locally, was detained by police in Stanwell at about 22:00 GMT after a call for assistance from an ambulance crew, she said.

He was taken under restraint to Staines Police Station where he was arrested and continued to be restrained.

The IPCC said he became ill and died in St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, about 24 hours after being detained.

Witnesses who saw Mr Smith that evening in the area of Vanguard House and Clifton Court in Douglas Road are still being sought.

Investigators said Mr Smith, who was white and about 5ft 8in (1.7m), was reported to be acting strangely and only partially clothed.

Ms Izekor said the investigation would be looking at Mr Smith's detention and his time in custody before he was taken to hospital at 01:00 GMT.

She said investigators would also look at the length of time he was restrained and methods used.

Surrey Police said it continued to co-operate fully with the IPCC.

The force said Mr Smith had been arrested on suspicion of a drugs-related offence, but his health had deteriorated and an ambulance was called.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “The officers and staff have been temporarily removed from operational duties whilst restrictions are formally considered.”


Essex police commissioner Nick Alston scraps most targets

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Essex says all “numerical targets” for the county's constabulary have been scrapped.

Nick Alston, Essex's PCC, said they had been replaced by a single overall target of reducing rime.

Mr Alston was speaking after a committee of MPs heard some forces were routinely manipulating crime data.

He said the force had, in the past, “suffered very strongly from a performance culture”.

Essex Police is yet to comment,

The Conservative PCC, elected last November, said: “I took away the numerical targets from Essex Police, the targets have gone.

“I am very aware of the susceptibility of crime statistics to be worked in all sorts of different ways.”

The Public Administration Committee on Tuesday was told of a number of techniques police in England and Wales had used to manipulate crime figures.

They include “cuffing”, in which certain crimes are are not recorded, and “nodding”, where police and criminals collude to improve apparent detection rates.

“Dozens of officers have told me that relatively recently there was a performance culture in Essex,” he said.

“And some initiatives, such as the imposition of time-based targets for the number of arrests, distorted officer behaviour and made it more difficult for them to exercise professional discretion in dealing with an incident.”

But Mr Alston said manipulating data was not only an affront to the victims of crime but made intelligence-led policing, which might be based on clusters of offences, very difficult.


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