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Southern Update w/c 5 August

By DPF Admin12th August 2013August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Southern Updates

Kent Police decision to put mentally ill man in cell probed by IPCC

The decision by Kent Police to put a mentally ill man in a cell rather than take him to hospital is being investigated by the police watchdog.

The 40-year-old was found in Medway's custody suites with a t-shirt tied round his neck and not breathing.

The custody sergeant was told beforehand that he had taken a suspected overdose and had mental health issues.

The man was taken to hospital and later returned to custody.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said Kent Police told it that on 11 July, officers were called to an address in Gillingham where the man was believed to have taken a suspected overdose.

He was treated by paramedics, but refused to be taken to hospital and was arrested on suspicion of assault.

The man was then taken to the custody suite where he was later found in a cell with the t-shirt round his neck, and taken to hospital.

He was declared fit for detention and interview in hospital and was returned to police custody.

On 12 July, the man was interviewed, charged and released on bail, the IPCC said.

The next day, the organisation said, it was told that officers found the man unwell at his home following reports of concern for his welfare.

He was taken to hospital again and is now a voluntary patient on a mental health ward, the IPCC said.

Kent Police referred the case to the watchdog on 15 July, two days after the man was taken to hospital.

The delay forms part of the IPCC's inquiry.

Mary Cunneen, the watchdog's commissioner, said IPCC staff had met with the man to outline the investigation.

“This will focus on the actions taken and decisions made by the arresting officers and custody staff in their dealings with the man and the circumstances of his release and the pre-release risk assessment,” she said.

“Actions and decisions taken in relation to the man's mental health and the disclosure of a prior overdose are also being examined.

“The IPCC is also considering whether Kent Police's policies and procedures in relation to policing mental health, detention in custody and any other relevant procedures were followed.”

Kent Police said the man was charged with assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty and released on bail to appear in court on 9 August.

“The matter was referred to the IPCC, which is conducting an independent investigation into Kent Police's actions,” the spokeswoman said.

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Met Police's infamous Black Museum of chilling evidence could become a tourist attraction

The Crime Museum includes serial killer Dennis Nilsen's cooking pots and Jack the Ripper artefacts

As mementoes go, these are some of the most gruesome around – a grisly catalogue of more than a century of crime.

From the pots serial killer Dennis Nilsen boiled the flesh of his victims in, to the gallstone of one of acid bath murderer John Haigh’s dissolved corpses, there is enough horror on show to send a shudder down the strongest of spines.

They are hidden away from public view in the Met Police’s infamous “Black Museum” – but they could soon become a major tourist attraction in a bid to raise cash for the force.

A Greater London Authority report says letting people see the chilling items could generate millions of pounds. Even a three-month exhibition at £15 a head could make £4.5million – enough for 100 officers for a year.

The museum is in room 101 at New Scotland Yard, Victoria – an L-shaped space crammed with glass display cabinets containing items going back 150 years. It was created in 1874 as an educational resource for new recruits.

Founder Inspector Neame thought keeping crucial bits of evidence from crimes could be used to teach rookie officers how crooks operated. There are death masks of hanged felons used by police to study the lumps and bumps on the skull which the Victorians believed were signs of a deviant.

Possibly the most fascinating exhibit at the site, now called the Crime Museum after complaints, is a letter sent to London’s Central News Agency on September 27 1888 from Jack the Ripper – at the height of his murderous reign of terror in the East End.

The note taunted detectives for their failings. It read: “Dear Boss,

“I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they talk about being on the right track. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. I love my work and want to start again”

The letter was signed Jack the Ripper, the first time the name was used.

The museum also holds another trophy from a notorious murderer. Dr Hawley Crippen was the first criminal caught thanks to ­wireless ­communication – as he fled to Canada after killing his wife Cora in Camden, North London.

On display is the piece of Cora’s pyjama jacket that police used to nail him. The captain of the ship Crippen was ­travelling on sent a message to Scotland Yard after he became suspicious.

A detective was despatched on a faster ship and arrived in Quebec in time to arrest the medic as he disembarked. But the museum is more than just a hall of fame for London’s most infamous killers.

There is also an array of disguised weapons, with everything from walking sticks to umbrellas holding concealed guns. One sword, called the cop killer, contains a small dagger in the hilt which was drawn on an officer who went to tackle the holder.

Officers are ­regularly shown round to see the hidden dangers they face on the streets. As part of the Met’s Crime Academy, lectures are given.

But there is also the macabre. Haigh’s oil drum, in which he dissolved six victims in sulphuric acid is there – along with the gallstone.

Only police are allowed inside the museum and their badges, from forces around the world, adorn the walls.

They provide a little light relief to some of the darker exhibits, such as ­necrophiliac John Christie’s tobacco tin. He confessed to killing seven women after he was held for the murder of his wife in 10 Rillington Place, London.

The killer gave testimony against his lodger Timothy Evans, who was hanged for two murders Christie carried out. The execution led to the abolition of the death penalty.

One exhibit that may be too grisly to go on public display is a crucial piece of evidence against Nilsen, who murdered 15 young homeless or ­homosexual men back at his home.

He kept their corpses for long periods. When he began cutting up, boiling body parts and flushing them down the toilet, drains became blocked, leading to his arrest.

A sample of the revolting brown sludge is on display as is his cooker and pan. Some of the exhibits are so horrible, it is said even some hardened police officers faint during the tour.

Among other items on display is the umbrella and the tiny ricin pellet used to assassinate Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov as he crossed Waterloo Bridge on September 7, 1978.


IPCC appeals for witnesses one week on from incident in South Ealing 

Investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will be in South Ealing this afternoon (Friday, 9 August) appealing for witnesses to an incident involving Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers last week.

MPS officers were called to an address in Sycamore Avenue following reports of a domestic incident at approximately 4.50pm on Friday, 2 August.

A 44-year-old man was seen by officers to self harm by taking a knife to his neck and was making threats to further harm himself.

Officers attempted to gain entry to the house and Taser was deployed.

MPS officers then began negotiating with him during the night and into Saturday (3 August) morning.

Shortly after 10am Territorial Support Group officers accessed the house and officers discharged Tasers.

The man was detained and taken hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

The MPS referred the incident to the IPCC on Sunday, 4 August and an independent investigation began.

IPCC Commissioner Mary Cunneen said:

“IPCC investigators will be in Sycamore Avenue, South Ealing, today between 4 and 7pm distributing leaflets, carrying out house-to-house enquiries and stopping passers-by in a bid to identify witnesses to the incident last week.

“Our investigators will also return tomorrow morning between 8 and 11am to see if anyone witnessed the events last week which led to this man being injured.

“I would urge anyone who was in the vicinity of Sycamore Avenue on Friday 2 or Saturday 3 August who may have information which could assist our investigation to contact the IPCC.

“Our investigation will examine what information was known by the Metropolitan Police Service, the decisions and actions of officers involved on Friday and Saturday and whether the use of Taser was appropriate.

“We need to understand the circumstances surrounding this incident in order to provide answers to the man, his family and the many members of the community who witnessed the events.”


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