Officers get apology over time it took to investigate death

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A former police officer has spoken of his relief after an investigation into the death of a man in custody was concluded with an apology.

Paul Rogers,49, of Kesteven Drive, Market Deeping, was one of three officers whose actions were criticised in an Independent Police Complaints Commission report following the death of Jonathan Pluck in May, 2009.

The 36-year-old was in custody at Thorpe Wood 
police station in Peterborough after being arrested at Peterborough District Hospital.

At an inquest in June, coroner Gordan Ryall said the hospital should have provided better details to police about Mr Pluck’s medical condition and did not blame the three officers – Mr Rodgers, then a police inspector, and PC James Howard and PC Paul Billington, who are still serving officers – for the death.

However, an IPCC report said officers had not carried out the correct risk 

Mr Rodgers, now a teaching assistant, asked for an apology from the commission about the report and now it has sent him a letter apologising for the 

The letter, signed by Rachel Cerfontyne, the IPCC commissioner, said : “The IPCC investigation took 14 months resulting in a referral to the CPS.

“The length of time was too long, and we have and are continuing to strive to improve our timeliness.

“While I do not accept the other criticisms, I am sorry the investigation took the length of time it did.”

Mr Rogers, who left the force after 30 years of service following the incident, said: “I am satisfied that we have received an apology but disappointed that they have not listened to what the coroner said, and not apologised for their report.

“I will be speaking to the other officers and the Police Federation but I think this is the best we will get and won’t be taking this any further.

“It is a massive relief that this is all over. It took nearly three years before the inquest happened and those delays are unacceptable.

“It has caused a great deal of upset to myself and the other officers.

“We are pleased that the IPCC are looking at improving timeliness of their cases.

“If there is one good thing that could come from this, it is that it does not happen to other people in the future.

“I think it is important that officers are able to challenge the IPCC, so they can get justice.

“The coroner cleared us of any wrong doing at the inquest and we are all delighted that this case is over.”