Watchdog slams West Midlands force

Police have been slammed for a “collective failure” in their treatment of a 19-year-old man with mental health problems after they took him into custody.

A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is due to be published soon, will conclude that Daryl Foster and his family did not receive the “support and level of service they deserved” from West Midlands Police.

The inquiry was launched after officers arrested Foster, who has Asperger’s syndrome, on criminal damage charges in July 2005.

He had thrown a microwave out of a window, ripped his sofa to pieces and tore a sink from the wall. He then barricaded himself in and armed himself with a butter knife to try to saw his way out.

Officers interviewed Foster without an appropriate adult, despite the fact his mother explained he was mentally ill and carried an autism alert card. His clothes were removed because police feared he was suicidal and he was given a white paper suit to wear.

He was still wearing it when he was released.

Foster’s mother, Julie Foster, told Community Care: “The way he was treated was absolutely appalling. The whole system is flawed.”

West Midlands Police declined to comment at this stage.

Further information
Independent Police Complaints Commission
West Midlands Police

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