Beds Police has gone back on its promise to allow a Leon Briggs memorial plaque to be put up at Luton Police Station, due to ‘potential legal implications’.
Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of the father-of-two’s passing, with a candlelit vigil set to take place outside the station at 7.30pm.
Family members and Justice 4 Leon campaigners had intended to use the event to unveil a plaque for Leon, but Beds Police has reneged on its agreement for the memorial to be placed outside the station.
The force now claims that the memorial could cause prejudice to any future legal proceedings against suspended officers, who are currently under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “It is only right that we consider these issues however, with the anniversary of Mr Briggs’ death this week, the timing is regrettable and I would apologise to family and friends for any upset this has caused.
“I would stress that we are not ruling out the placing of a plaque at a future date, however it is in the best interest of all parties involved that potential legal implications are fully explored before it is agreed.”
Luton 4 Justice solicitor Attiq Malik has dismissed the potential risk for prejudice.
He said: “The bottom line is that the plaque is nothing more than Leon’s name and the date of his death.
“The media have reported on it and will continue to do so leading up to any proceedings and that is just as prejudicial.
“It is very sad that they have done this at the eleventh hour, the community is disgusted with it,
“The family is heart broken as well, the only thing we can do is to attend the vigil anyway.”
The blow comes just days after IPCC chief Mary Cunneen apologised to the Briggs family for the length of time the watchdog has taken to complete its probe into Leon’s death.
She added that the IPCC is now “following up a few final enquiries”.