An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IPCC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IPCC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IPCC.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.

The appropriate authority can be:

  • the chief officer of the police force
  • the Police and Crime Commissioner responsible for the police force you complained about
  • the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service)
  • the Common Council for the City of London (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the City of London police).
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
A person is adversely affected is he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
IPCC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer complained about.
Consists of a chair, two deputy chairs, and commissioners – each responsible for specific police forces, guardianship work and individual cases.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only take place in certain limited circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IPCC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter; and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into a complaint and produces a report that details the outcome of each allegation. There are four types of investigation: local investigation, supervised investigation, managed investigation and independent investigation.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
The IPCC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
An application by a complainant for a police decision to be reviewed.

IPCC publishes findings from investigation into how GMP dealt with epileptic man

May 4, 2011

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has concluded its investigation into how Greater Manchester Police dealt with a man who had experienced an epileptic seizure.

Howard Swarray experienced the seizure while training at the Powerleague gym in Whalley Range, Manchester on 23 November 2009.

Mr Swarray submitted a complaint to GMP via his solicitor in March 2010 alleging the use of a Taser on him was inappropriate and officers used excessive force. This complaint resulted in the incident being referred to the IPCC in April 2010.

The IPCC conducted an independent investigation which has determined that, while some of the tactics adopted by the officers were questionable, no officer breached policies or procedures or committed misconduct.

However, the IPCC believes that there is sufficient public concern around incidents such as this for it to recommend to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) that a review be undertaken into tactics for dealing with people who are experiencing serious medical episodes.

The investigation determined that Mr Swarray went to the gym at around 8:30am. Mr Swarray told investigators that around 20 minutes later he began to feel light-headed, a sensation he associates with the onset of a seizure. He cannot recall anything of the incident after that.

IPCC investigators took witness accounts from gym staff, other gym users and paramedics, as well as viewing CCTV footage.

The CCTV footage showed Mr Swarray collapsing at around 9:11am. Gym staff and gym users went to his assistance and an ambulance was called.

A fast-response paramedic and an ambulance crew were on the scene within 15 minutes and began to check Mr Swarray for injury, evidence of an existing medical condition such as epilepsy or diabetes, or for the possibility that he had taken prescribed or illegal drugs.

While being assessed Mr Swarray got to his feet and began to move unsteadily around the gym. He climbed on to a reception desk and then it is evident a struggle ensued as paramedics, gym staff and gym users attempted to restrain him.

Witness accounts from those at the gym give evidence of a violent struggle in which an apparently disorientated Mr Swarray bit, punched and kicked the people who were trying to restrain and treat him.

All involved in the incident reported being concerned for their own safety and that of Mr Swarray. An ambulance technician requested urgent police assistance.

One officer who responded was specially trained in the deployment of Taser. This officer is recorded as saying in a radio transmission that "if he's getting aggressive I am sure 50,000 volts will stand him up”. The officer was told that authority to use Taser had not been given.

Another officer was first on the scene and unsuccessfully tried to put handcuffs on Mr Swarray.

Other officers, including the Taser-trained officer, arrived and after trying to reason with Mr Swarray, delivered strikes to his arms and legs to try to gain compliance.

However Mr Swarray continued to resist and lash out.

The Taser-trained officer decided the only way to stop Mr Swarray and allow the officers to put handcuffs on him was to discharge a Taser. The officer self-authorised the use of Taser which is allowed under GMP policy.

He discharged the Taser once and when this did not appear to have any effect he used it again, this time in drive stun mode. This second discharge allowed the officers time to put the handcuffs onto Mr Swarray.

Mr Swarray continued to act aggressively after being handcuffed and officers tried various methods to restrain him further including bending his toes back. Another officer stood on Mr Swarray's legs.

The paramedics remained concerned by Mr Swarray's behaviour and requested a doctor attend to sedate him to allow for safe transportation to hospital.

Mr Swarray was admitted to Manchester Royal Infirmary with kidney failure. He was diagnosed as having suffered an epileptic seizure and being in a post ictal stage when the paramedics and police officers were trying to deal with him. A post ictal stage is a period of recovery following a seizure during which a person can be drowsy and confused or aggressive and violent.

A consultant informed the IPCC that Mr Swarray's renal failure was caused as a result of rhabdomylosis, which is damage to the kidney tubules caused by muscle enzymes. The recognised causes for this condition include significant muscle activity due to physical exertion and muscle contraction as a consequence of an epileptic seizure.

The consultant stated in theory a Taser could cause muscle damage, but the most likely cause was physical exertion due to the seizure, gym activity or resisting physical restraint.

Three ambulance staff were treated in hospital for bruises and bite injuries caused by Mr Swarray while he was in his post ictal state.

IPCC Commissioner Ms Naseem Malik said: "It is evident from our investigation that the officers involved were responding to an incident in which a man appeared to be violently resisting attempts to deliver medical treatment. Subsequent medical evidence shows Mr Swarray had been in the recovery stage of an epileptic seizure and not in control of his actions. However, although the initial report had suggested Mr Swarray was having a seizure, at the point the officers arrived to provide assistance it is evident the exact cause of Mr Swarray's behaviour had not been fully established.

"The fact is all of the actions taken by the officers were within their training and did not breach force policies. There is nothing within either ACPO or GMP policies that prevents the use of Taser against a person who has suffered an epileptic seizure.

"With hindsight actions such as giving commands and attempting compliance through pain to a person who was already known to be unresponsive were questionable. However the officers were considering options within their training and the officer who discharged the Taser believed he had no other option.

"The language used by the officer en route to the incident was inappropriate and suggested a certain mindset. However it is evident he then considered tactical options before deciding to use the Taser.

"However, while our investigation has found individual officers have acted correctly, the overriding concern remains that a medical condition exists that can prompt an individual to be in a totally disorientated state which can result in them being incredibly violent, yet the only option open to police officers in dealing with such an individual at present appears to be to deliver controlled violence.

"While I recognise that police need to protect the public and themselves against violent individuals, my concern is whether there is an alternative to the use of a Taser to deal with people whose violence arises from a medical condition such as epilepsy. For this reason the IPCC is writing to ACPO to suggest that, in conjunction with relevant charities or healthcare providers, they consider whether other, potentially less violent tactics could be used in these types of situations to ensure people suffering medical emergencies receive the right care and that frontline police officers have the relevant knowledge to assist them.”

-ends-

 

Media contact:

Ian Christon, IPCC Regional Communications Officer (North Region)

 

Tel 0161 2468582

 

 

 

An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IPCC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IPCC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IPCC.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.

The appropriate authority can be:

  • the chief officer of the police force
  • the Police and Crime Commissioner responsible for the police force you complained about
  • the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service)
  • the Common Council for the City of London (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the City of London police).
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
A person is adversely affected is he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
IPCC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer complained about.
Consists of a chair, two deputy chairs, and commissioners – each responsible for specific police forces, guardianship work and individual cases.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only take place in certain limited circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IPCC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter; and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into a complaint and produces a report that details the outcome of each allegation. There are four types of investigation: local investigation, supervised investigation, managed investigation and independent investigation.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
The IPCC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
An application by a complainant for a police decision to be reviewed.

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