Gloucestershire police to investigate Willshire force over cell taser incident

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Gloucestershire police to investigate Willshire force over cell taser incident Gloucestershire police to investigate Willshire force over cell taser incident

AN INVESTIGATION into the actions of a Wiltshire police officer who tasered a man in custody is to be carried out by Gloucestershire Police.

PC Lee Birch, 30, was found not guilty by a jury at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday of charges of causing actual bodily harm to Daniel Dove and misconduct in public office.

But he and the Wiltshire force, along with four more officers, still face an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Mr Dove was tasered by PC Birch when he flicked his wet pants at the officer during a strip search at the custody suite in Melksham after he had been arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly and assaulting two PCs.

PC Birch denied he had acted in revenge.

In a statement released after the verdict the IPCC said the investigation handled by Gloucestershire would consider how the professional standards department handled the incident and why the IPCC was not told when Mr Dove first made a complaint.

It said:”The criminal proceedings initially arose from a private prosecution on behalf of Daniel Dove, the man who was tasered, which was subsequently taken over by the Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service. “Mr Dove appealed to the IPCC in 2013 against Wiltshire Police not recording his complaint about his interaction with police. During the appeals process Wiltshire Police recorded the matter as a complaint and referred it to the IPCC, and the IPCC then upheld the original appeal.”

IPCC Associate Commissioner Guido Liguori said: "The IPCC managed investigation has been on hold pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings against the officer. It will now be progressed by Gloucestershire Constabulary to consider under our direction whether Pc Birch and four other officers have breached the standards of professional behaviour. "It will also examine how the professional standards department at Wiltshire Police handled matters following the incident.

“The IPCC has particular concerns around the use of taser in confined spaces including police cells, and has asked all forces to notify us where a complaint involving taser is made. The investigation will consider why the use of taser wasn’t brought to our attention earlier.”

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