Police to explain broken CCTV after death of Sean Rigg

originally by: The Independent
published: 24th September 2011

Serious concerns have emerged about faulty CCTV at one of Britain’s most notorious police stations which was at the centre of the summer riots and a death in custody scandal. Brixton police chiefs must explain another broken camera in the busy station – three years after vital evidence about a death in custody was missed because of broken CCTV.

Sean Rigg, 40, died after being placed in a metal cage in the yard at Brixton police station in August 2008. Information from the minutes before his death is missing because CCTV in the yard was allegedly not working. This led to strong criticisms from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in 2009 which recommended the out-of-date system be replaced as soon as possible.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) recommended a review of the station’s CCTV. But earlier this month a memorial to Mr Rigg was desecrated outside the station and the CCTV camera pointing in that direction was not working.

This incident occurred three weeks after London rioters caused considerable damage to Brixton businesses.

The Metropolitan Police last night said it “did not believe” the camera was working during the riots, but it had now been fixed. The CCTV is checked annually or if a fault is reported. This admission comes as the Metropolitan Police compelled media organisations to hand over footage from the riots.

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