Fedster + 1,307 Posted April 17, 2018 Share Posted April 17, 2018 But MPS must reconsider its refusal to allow PC Andrew Birks to resign. Sean Rigg The police watchdog has announced five officers will face gross misconduct charges over the death of Sean Rigg almost a decade ago. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), previously the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), said the allegations relate to the officers' actions on the day the 40-year-old musician was arrested and detained. The move was made public as a High Court judge ordered the Metropolitan Police to reconsider its refusal to allow one of the officers, Andrew Birks, to resign. PC Birks' disciplinary case will be stayed pending the outcome of the decision over his resignation bid. PC Birks has been suspended since 2014 on full pay at a cost of £44,000 and has been ordained as a deacon in the Church of England, according to the The Argus. He told the Argus in 2016 he just wants to “fulfil his vocation” and doesn’t want to work for the Met. IOPC regional director Sarah Green said she had directed last month that the Metropolitan Police bring gross misconduct charges against PC Birks and four other officers. Her decision was kept private until the High Court judgement was made. In February she also directed that two of the officers should face disciplinary hearings over allegations they "knowingly misled" an inquest into Mr Rigg's death and the IOPC during its investigation. Mr Rigg, who had paranoid schizophrenia, collapsed and died at Brixton police station in August 2008 after being arrested in Balham and taken to the station in a police van driven by Mr Birks. At an inquest in 2012 jurors found the primary cause of Mr Rigg's death was cardiac arrest and were critical of the way he was restrained by police. Following the IOPC's announcement on Friday, his sister Marcia Rigg-Samuel said she and her family "welcomed" the decision to bring charges. She said: "As we approach ten years since my brother died following unnecessary and unsuitable restraint, we hope that the hearings will take place as soon as possible and provide some much-needed accountability. "Ten years on and my family is still suffering delay after delay." Ms Rigg-Samuel said she hoped a decision on Mr Birks' resignation could be made "immediately". She added: "The only sensible decision in the public interest, with the gross misconduct charges having been directed by the IOPC, is for PC Birks to remain suspended, so that he can face those charges." IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: “We accept the judgment from Justice Garnham. I will be making further representations to the Metropolitan Police Service ahead of their fresh consideration as to whether to suspend PC Andrew Birks. “Last month I directed that the Metropolitan Police bring gross misconduct hearings for five officers including PC Birks over allegations relating to their actions on the day Sean Rigg was arrested and detained. “In February 2018 I directed that the Metropolitan Police bring gross misconduct hearings for two of those five officers in relation to allegations they knowingly misled an inquest held into the death of Mr Rigg and the IOPC during its investigation. “As a result of the judgment, the disciplinary process against PC Birks is stayed pending reconsideration of the decision by the Assistant Commissioner of the MPS to suspend him.” Daniel Machover, solicitor for Marcia Rigg-Samuel, said: “Where the evidence supports it, the public interest in holding PC Birks and his colleagues to account could not be higher. “As deaths following contact with the police continue and public perception of police integrity is low, the IOPC and the MPS must now work together to fast-track all the remaining decisions to ensure accountability. Sean Rigg’s family have waited long enough.” View On Police Oracle Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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