Hampshire police 'spork' warning over unconscious detainee

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Image caption,
The victim lost consciousness while in police custody in Basingstoke

A police force has been warned not to leave detainees alone with cutlery after a man seriously injured himself with a "spork".

The victim, who had a history of self-harm, was left with the hybrid spoon-fork for more than two hours in a cell in Basingstoke, Hampshire, in 2019.

He used it both to cut himself and to fashion a noose, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

The victim lost consciousness but recovered, investigators added.

Custody staff left the man with "unsupervised access to a spork, as it was not removed after use" in July 2019, the IOPC report said.

Investigators warned the cutlery could have been used as a weapon as well as for self-harm.

The IOPC said Hampshire Constabulary should review its custody policies to "clarify guidance around the provision of cutlery".

The force has been approached for comment.

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