Investigation into police finds no breach of standards

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An investigation into the custody of a man who died after being hit and killed by a car shortly after being released from custody has found that none of the West Yorkshire Police (WYP) officers who dealt with him breached their professional standards of behaviour.

Simon Clifford, of Bradford, West Yorkshire, was arrested at his home at 9.30pm on 28 October 2012 for a breach of the peace following a domestic dispute.

Mr Clifford, 47, was taken into custody at Keighley police station at 10.05pm and released at 2.59am the next day. He was found by a police patrol car at 3.23am after being knocked down by a taxi in Bradford Road, Keighley, and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The IPCC investigation examined the actions of three police officers and three civilian detention officers.

A risk assessment and Police National Computer (PNC) check was carried out before Mr Clifford was booked into custody. There were no warning markers on Mr Clifford’s details. He refused to answer questions about alcohol intake or his health.

He was placed in a cell covered by a CCTV camera and checked every 30 minutes. A custody officer told the IPCC that at 11.13pm she was asked to visit Mr Clifford in his cell to tell him that he would be released if he agreed to go to his mother’s address, an offer that was refused. This offer was later repeated and refused again.

A pre-release assessment was carried out before Mr Clifford was released with no further action being taken against him. He was not considered to be vulnerable and had declined to wait to see a medical professional about a headache he had complained of. There were also no signs he had consumed alcohol, was injured or had mental health issues.

The IPCC found no case to answer for the officers investigated and no areas of learning were identified.

An inquest in February 2014 recorded that Mr Clifford had died as a result of a road accident.

Cindy Butts, the IPCC Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: “The close proximity to Mr Clifford’s release from custody and his being struck by a taxi meant that an independent investigation had to be carried out by the IPCC, and we were determined to find out exactly what happened to Mr Clifford. This will have been a traumatic experience for his family and I extend my sympathies to them. There were, however, no breaches of custody guidelines or policy identified by our investigation.”