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.