Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton custody death: Police officers and staff suspended

Leon Briggs
Image caption Leon Briggs was described as "bubbly... with an infectious smile"

Five police officers and two staff have been suspended from duty after a man died in police custody.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched a criminal probe after Leon Briggs, 38, died while being detained in Luton under the Mental Health Act last week.

Bedfordshire Police said the move "in no way jumps to any conclusion about the outcome of the investigation".

But it added the suspensions would ensure "neutrality and transparency".

Mr Briggs was detained in the Marsh Road area of the town following concerns from members of the public about his behaviour.

He later became ill at Luton police station and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The IPCC said it believed "that potential criminal offences may have been committed".

Bedfordshire Police said the suspensions would remain under "constant review".

A spokesman said: "We continue to co-operate with the investigation to help provide Mr Briggs' family, the coroner and the IPCC with accurate information about how and why Mr Briggs died."

A witness said Mr Briggs was screaming during his arrest and complained to officers his handcuffs were too tight.

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