Sunday, 29 May 2011

Petition for legislative reform in regard to deaths in police custody.


"We believe that equitable dispensation justice in the UK must be done and be seen to be done if the general public are to enjoy high levels of trust and confidence in the fair administration of justice. Further we believe that all peoples regardless of race, gender, colour or creed should be considered equal citizens under the law. Suspicious deaths in custody and the abusive process of investigation and judication act as a drain on public confidence and cause deep scepticism and resentment in the fair administration of justice. The poor quality and speed of independent investigations conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and an Inquest process that is not fit for purpose both critically fail to protect or support the rights of victims or their families.  

Neither of these statutory processes empowers the victims’ families in their desperate search for the truth. Public confidence and respect for the rule of law are vital. We believe there is little if any confidence in the present legal process of investigation and inquest. Holding to  legal account those institutions and individuals in whom the public entrust the care and safety of their loved ones is essential for maintaining public confidence in the judicial process. 

Where suspicious deaths in custody do occur; transparency, openness and ensuring that the victims’ families are legally enabled to seek the truth and ensure those held responsible are held to account is of critical importance. We have no confidence in the current systems of investigation and inquest. We believe that the vast majority of the British public would support urgent and immediate legislative and policy reform that can restore public confidence in the criminal justice system."

We the undersigned demand that the Prime Minister:

·        Hold an independent public inquiry into all suspicious deaths in custody. We need an urgent inquiry into cases such as those of David Emanuel (aka Smiley Culture), Kingsley Burrell-Brown, Wayne Hamilton, Ian Tomlinson, Mikey Powell, Justice for Habib 'Paps' Ullah Sean Rigg and including the deaths of children in custody such as Gareth Myatt.
·        Introduce reforms that result in the  immediate and routine suspension of all police officers involved in cases of deaths in police custody including  those of David Emanuel (aka Smiley Culture) and Kingsley Burrell-Brown.
·        Ensure that IPCC fast track their investigation into the deaths of David Emanuel (aka Smiley Culture) and Kingsley Burrell-Brown and ensure that in future all investigations of deaths in custody are concluded in a timely and transparent manner.
·        Reform and strengthen the powers and independence of the IPCC. For example ensuring that no member of the IPCC can have worked for the police or any other criminal justice agency where there is a clear an obvious conflict of interest. In addition: introduce independent community investigators that can be utilised in controversial cases where public confidence is an issue.
·        Implement legislation so that any professional who has someone die whilst in their custody and where there are no independent witnesses present, must take a public lie detector test as part of the IPCC investigation

·        Introduce mobile video technology so that all police officers must record arrests using a mobile video device to ensure that there is an accurate account of events.

Petition created by Merlin Emanuel and Lee Jasper: