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Police complaints review welcomed by Gloucester mum after son's custody leg break

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 20, 2014

John Ford

Comments (8)

A REVIEW into how public complaints against the police are investigated has been welcomed by a Gloucester mum whose son suffered a broken leg in custody.

John Ford, 39, was injured when he was arrested in November 2012 after he was ejected from The Regal pub in St Aldate Street.

The incident at Bearlands police station was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which then sent the matter back to Gloucestershire Constabulary to conduct its own investigation.

That inquiry found no wrongdoing by any officers involved.

The IPCC said it was satisfied with the way John’s case was investigated.

John, who was on medication for depression, suffered three broken bones and doctors considered amputation before a successful operation to straighten his leg last year. His mum, Susan, said she believes the IPCC could have done more to investigate what happened.

“John has depression, that is why he was so concerned about his tablets that night,” she said.

“He needed to get them back, but I believe the police couldn’t see that.

“We only received two letters from the IPCC to say that it was investigating.

“One woman came who started the ball rolling, but we didn’t see anyone after that.

“The IPCC could have been more proactive and informative with us. On the night of the incident, police came to my door and said John was in hospital with a bad leg. We had no idea how bad it was.

“This has been going on for 15 months now.

“We still don’t know how much longer it will be before he can walk again.

“We were told by the IPCC that they would look into it and sort it, but all we had were two letters.

“One was to ask for photographs and the other to say they were taking on the case.

“He told them what the tablets were for.

“There should be changes so police are aware of someone’s mental health issues, once they have been arrested.

“If they know their background first, then they can deal with it.

“A review is needed.

“If police knew John’s background, the way he was dealt with would have been totally different in my opinion.”

The IPCC is to overhaul the way it investigates deaths at the hands of police in England and Wales.

A review follows criticism of how the watchdog has dealt with some cases.

Some of the bereaved families consulted said they felt they were treated insensitively.

The IPCC’s report said mental health was a ‘major underlying issue’ in many of the deaths it investigated.

In 2012/13 about half of the people who died in custody across the UK, and nearly two-thirds of those who apparently took their own lives afterwards, had mental health concerns, it said.

Improving the treatment of such families in future is at the heart of a new 61-point action plan.

Under the plans which were unveiled this week, bereaved families will be able to contribute to the terms of reference of an investigation.

Press statements about each case will also be agreed between police and affected families in advance of being released to the media.

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  March 20 2014, 1:16PM

    I just remembered is Snappy_Happer the bloke that got a mouthful from a rozzer for taking pictures of the scene of a fatal accident?

    |   -19
  • QwertyOS  |  March 20 2014, 11:54AM

    Two things...firstly, little diddums is only 39 and and should not be allowed out on his own, secondly, if you are on medication for the depression, the last thing you do is go for a night out in Gloucesters chav haunts...and take your meds with?? What we have here is a drunk who went looking for a scrap...kicked off with the police and got more than he bargained for. The fact no further action is being taken suggests that he brought this on himself through his own violent behaviour.

    |   15
  • GlosAnarchy  |  March 20 2014, 11:35AM

    Snappy_Happer - so either tell us what your complaint is about or keep stum! What is it some rozzer didn't show you the deferance you feel you deserve after a couple of cans in the park?

    |   -17
  • toadhall99  |  March 20 2014, 11:34AM

    Anti depressants and booze, shound like a good combination for some sort of trouble. ...

    |   34
  • Beegeeuk  |  March 20 2014, 10:31AM

    So mummy's little treasure, who is on medication, gets tanked up and misbehaves in The Regal to the extent that he is ejected, continues to misbehave outside and gets arrested! Given the history of this incident is it possible that he continues to play up and in the process gets injured? The mummykins blames the police for injuring her little treasure! Whatever happened to taking responsibility for your own actions? Sounds as though there's a compensation claim in here somewhere!!!

    |   26
  • Snappy_Happer  |  March 20 2014, 9:31AM

    Actually, this man's situation seems identical to mine, with the IPCC refusing to take any action despite evident excesses by officers, and as these reforms seem to be more about deaths in custody, I doubt he will get justice, either. The first step to fixing a problem, though, is admitting there is a problem. Who's ready to do this? Our councillors? Our MPs? Martin Surl? Not even a quote from him, or his 'forum', which must be as large as the old police authority Rob Garnham headed now?

    |   1
  • GlosAnarchy  |  March 20 2014, 9:22AM

    SO John Ford why where you ejected from The Regal and then arrested. I would like the police to release CCTV from the Regal of your actions inside and out just to show you actions. It's often the case but may not be so in your case that some people with a bit too much juice inside them can become extremely aggressive and then can't remember anything of their actions the next day! You see all the time people needing 6 or more police officers to restrain them and get them into a cell, were you one of these?

    |   -17
  • Snappy_Happer  |  March 20 2014, 9:20AM

    That's funny, because all the IPCC will ever tell me is that because of changes to legislation in 2011, I *have* to deal with the police, despite a total lack of confidence in them, but Gloucestershire Constabulary completely ignore me (a response to an appeal at Xmas is well overdue now). When I tell the IPCC this, they just keep parroting the same 'advice'. There's no rhyme or reason to what the IPCC will involve itself in. Except for, perhaps, cases where the public has video evidence, and therefore doesn't *need* the IPCC...

    |   2