IPCC investigation underway following arrest of man in Exeter city centre

Published: 04 Oct 2012

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the circumstances of the arrest of a man in Exeter city centre yesterday (Wednesday) who is now in a serious condition in hospital.

Police were called to a report of a disturbance at the junction of High Street and Paris Street shortly before 11 am yesterday. Police attended, resulting in the 32 year old man being restrained and arrested on suspicion of a public order offence. The man was taken at about 11.10 am by police van to custody at Heavitree Road Police Station. Concerns developed for the man’s health while in custody when he became unresponsive in a cell and at about 12.15 pm he was taken by ambulance to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

The IPCC is appealing for witnesses to the incident in Exeter city centre yesterday morning and specifically to a number of people who were speaking to the man prior to police attending. It is understood four uniformed police officers and three police community support officers (PCSOs) were at the scene.

The 32 year-old man was wearing dark clothing, a baseball cap and glasses. It is believed he was speaking to several people shortly before his arrest including a white man wearing a brown jacket and carrying a leather bag aged in his mid 20s, an Asian man in his early 20s wearing a black T-shirt, a white middle-aged woman wearing a purple anorak, and a white man aged around 30. A number of people milling around a tourist coach nearby may also have witnessed events.

IPCC Commissioner Ms Amerdeep Somal said: “This incident unfolded in a busy part of Exeter city centre yesterday morning and it is important for our independent investigation that anyone who witnessed events or saw or spoke to the man before police attended to come forward. This was a very serious incident involving several police officers and a man is now in a serious condition in hospital.

We are reviewing relevant CCTV footage of the city centre and are anxious for the public’s help in determining exactly what happened.”

Witnesses can contact the IPCC in confidence on 0800-096-9077 or email [email protected]

Devon and Cornwall Police notified the IPCC of the incident yesterday and investigators were swiftly deployed to Exeter to begin an independent investigation. Investigators are reviewing CCTV footage of the area and from the custody suite, and gaining initial accounts from officers and witnesses. The IPCC has made contact with the man’s family to inform them of our involvement and explain how the investigation will progress.

  • Avon and Somerset Constabulary
  • Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Custody and detention
  • Death and serious injury
  • Welfare and vulnerable people