Jan McLean: Police failings over drug swallow death

A series of police failings "may have impacted" on the death of a man who swallowed drugs after he was arrested, the police watchdog has found.

Jan McLean was held on suspicion of drugs offences on 12 August 2013 and taken to Guildford police station.

He collapsed in custody and was taken to hospital but died two days later.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said there had been "several missed opportunities" by Surrey Police.

'Better survival chance'

The report said information about the 34-year-old was not passed on to officers who arrested him at a flat in Collingwood Crescent, Guildford.

The information from the Police National Computer (PNC) showed Mr McLean had swallowed drugs on arrest and had used clothing to try to strangle himself while in custody.

The IPCC said the information "could have impacted on their (the officers) decision to leave him in the police van unsupervised, handcuffed to the front and without having been strip-searched".

Written warning

It added he may have had a "better chance of survival" if he had been taken straight to hospital when he fell unwell rather than waiting for an ambulance.

In June an inquest jury recorded a narrative verdict, concluding that Mr McLean died after swallowing an unknown amount of drugs.

The IPCC said a constable was given a written warning by Surrey Police after it was found he failed to pass on the PNC information.

It has also recommended that a sergeant and a member of police staff should face disciplinary action.

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