Smiley Culture death: No crime committed, says IPCC

Smiley Culture
Image caption Smiley Culture's singles included Cockney Translation and Police Officer

An investigation into the police operation during which reggae singer Smiley Culture died has found no evidence of a criminal offence.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission carried out the inquiry.

The singer, whose real name was David Emmanuel, died from a single stab wound during a police raid at his home in Surrey on 15 March.

His family had demanded more information after a report that he stabbed himself during the raid.

An inquest into his death three days later was told he stabbed himself through the heart with a kitchen knife as four Metropolitan Police officers carried out a search of his home in Hillbury Road, Warlingham.

He died at the scene despite attempts at resuscitation.

The inquest was adjourned to a date to be fixed.

The 48-year-old had been due to face trial accused of conspiracy to supply cocaine.

'No individual failings'

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigated the actions of the individual officers, as well as the planning of the operation as a whole.

IPCC Commissioner Mike Franklin said after "careful consideration and in consultation with lawyers from both the IPCC and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)" he had taken the decision not to formally refer the report to the CPS as the investigation has found no evidence that a criminal offence may have been committed.

The investigation also found there were no individual failings with regard to the actions of individual officers which amounted to misconduct.

However, the IPCC said its investigation had raised concerns about several areas of the operation, which included operational planning and risk management.

A separate report is being sent to the Metropolitan Police so that it can consider the recommendations and respond to the IPCC with actions for implementing learning where required.

The investigation report into Mr Emmanuel's death has been sent to the coroner ahead of an inquest, which will be held with a jury and will not take place before the conclusion of the criminal trials to which Mr Emmanuel was allegedly linked, the IPCC said.

The two trials are scheduled to be heard in early 2012, after which the IPCC will publish its investigation report.

Mr Franklin said all the evidence gathered had been passed to the coroner who was liaising directly with Mr Emmanuel's family.

"I hope that arrangements can now begin for the inquest - which will be the opportunity for all the evidence to be heard, and tested, in public," he said.

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