Leon Briggs investigation: IPCC reveals third probe for officers ‘likely’

Leon Briggs memorial flowers outside Luton Police station, Buxton Road.
Leon Briggs memorial flowers outside Luton Police station, Buxton Road.

Five police officers and two detention officers remain under investigation and are “likely” to be interviewed for a third time as the IPCC continues its enquiries into the death of Leon Briggs.

Father-of-two Leon, of Ashburnham Road, died after being detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act on November 4.

Since then the IPCC has investigated the circumstances of the 39-year-old’s death, taking statements from more than 150 witnesses, more than 25 of whom saw Mr Briggs when he first had contact with police at the junction of Marsh Road and Willow Way.

IPCC Commissioner Mary Cunneen said: “Last week I met with representatives from the Luton Community Cohesion Contingency Planning Group and the Justice 4 Leon campaign to provide an update on our investigation into Leon’s death. 
“This follows a meeting with Leon’s family last month.

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to go through our investigation and answer any questions that they had.

“Death in custody investigations are especially complex and do take time.

“I am grateful for the patience of both Leon’s family and the community as our investigation progresses.

“We will continue to provide regular updates to Leon’s family via their solicitors.”

CCTV from the custody suite and yard at Luton Police Station has also been seized, reviewed and parts of it have been enhanced.
The police van used to transport Mr Briggs to custody did not have internal CCTV equipment, it was only fitted with an external CCTV camera mounted on the roof. 
The IPCC examined the available footage from the CCTV camera with an independent engineer who determined no footage was available from 4 November 2013.

CCTV from a number of shops and premises on Marsh Road and Willow Way as well as from local authority cameras was also seized in the days after Mr Briggs’ death.

A cause of death is yet to have been established, with the next pre-inquest hearing scheduled for October 7.