A police force has vowed to make improvements after a man took heroin in his cell and died. Leroy Junior Medford was being watched at a police station in Reading in April 2017, after he was suspected of concealing drugs internally.
At an inquest this year, the coroner said police should have “done more”. In a report to the coroner, Thames Valley Police said a number of changes have been made and a comprehensive review has been launched.
Medford, 43, had been searched twice by police and taken to hospital for a scan to check for drugs. Two officers were tasked with “constant supervision” of the father-of-eight in his cell. They had not seen him removing a package from his trousers and swallowing it, which was shown on CCTV.
Police are investigating a secret Facebook site which has called on police officers to stage a counter protest to a demonstration that was planned to demand justice for Kingsley Burrell, who died in custody.
The call was made on Facebook page “Support for PC Adey” – which describes itself as a “secret group with 1.2k members” – and contains messages from supporters, some of whom appear to be serving officers.
That is a reference to PC Paul Adey, sacked by West Midlands Police last month for breaching standards over the restraint used on Mr Burrell after he was arrested and sectioned in 2011.
The police watchdog has admitted its investigations take too long – with officers facing misconduct probes suspended on full pay for years. Data shows almost half of the UK’s suspended officers have been off-duty for at least a year.
One, who has retrained as a priest, told the BBC he has spent five years being paid “unnecessarily” for a job he does not want to do. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it must do better.
From the 31 forces that provided information to the BBC through a Freedom of Information request, 71 of the 153 officers (46%) who were fully suspended from duty in October 2018 had been suspended since at least November 2017.