Update on investigation into the death of Thomas Orchard

Published: 07 Oct 2013

The IPCC investigation into the death of Thomas Orchard led to a file of evidence submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service and concerns Mr Orchard's time in custody and relates to two custody detention staff, three police officers, one custody sergeant and a nurse who is employed by a contractor. It will be a matter for the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether criminal charges will be brought against any of those police staff involved in Mr Orchard's detention on that day.

The IPCC also submitted a file of evidence to the Health and Safety Executive in August for them to consider corporate charges.

The IPCC identified a risk in the way that an emergency restraint belt (ERB) was used on Mr Orchard as a spit hood by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and wrote to all chief constables in England and Wales on 1 November 2012. The letter expressed concern that use of an ERB in this way posed a risk to individuals. The IPCC highlighted the need for any other body using an ERB in such a way to carry out risk assessments.

The IPCC investigation has concluded and has looked at CCTV footage; taken statements; interviewed officers and custody staff; and reviewed relevant policies and training. The investigation has also looked at restraint techniques and the use of emergency restraint belts used by the force during Mr Orchard 's arrest and detention.

  • Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Custody and detention
  • Death and serious injury
  • Use of force and armed policing
  • Welfare and vulnerable people