Call for review of joint social services and police work over treatment of vulnerable man

A commissioner at the Independent Police Complaints Commission has called for a review of partnership working between police, social services and housing services, following an investigation.

John Crawley called for the review after the IPCC found that police officers based within the West Midlands force collectively failed a vulnerable young man who was taken into custody.

The IPCC report was leaked to Community Care last month.

Daryl Foster, who has Asperger’s, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage in July 2005 but officers and a social worker failed to fully identify his vulnerability.

He was interviewed without the presence of an appropriate adult and released from custody wearing only a white paper suit, after destroying his clothes.

The report recommends:

  • Better documentation to be kept about concerns relating to the health of individuals in custody
  • A review of the training of communications centre staff in relation to dealing with potential mental health issues

Crawley said: “The recommendations of this investigation should help to prevent such incidents occurring again. I have decided that such learning rather than formal disciplinary action is the appropriate way forward.”

He added: “I am confident that the local command is responding very positively to our findings.”

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