Independent report

Review into the events leading up to and following the death of Christopher Alder: Vol I

This document contains the following information: Report, dated 27th February 2006, of the review into the events leading up to and following the death of Christopher Alder on 1st April 1998

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Report, dated 27th February 2006, of the review into the events leading up to and following the death of Christopher Alder on 1st April 1998 - Full Text

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This document contains the following information: Report, dated 27th February 2006, of the review into the events leading up to and following the death of Christopher Alder on 1st April 1998.

This publication contains the report of the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the events leading up to, and following, the death of Christopher Alder, who died whilst in custody at a police station in Hull in April 1998.

Issues examined include: why Mr Alder was offered no assistance as he lay dying on the floor of the police station; the conduct of two police investigations into his death; medical history and postmortem medical evidence; the subsequent court hearings held, including an inquest in 2000, the criminal trial of five officers in 2002 and a police disciplinary hearing in 2003; the treatment of family members in terms of police family liaison; and whether racism was a factor in the death and handling of the case.

The report highlights serious failings, in terms of i) the individual conduct of four of the police officers involved, which amounted to serious neglect of duty; ii) subsequent mistakes by senior police officers in their response to investigating a death in custody; and iii) major systemic failures including the presence of negative racial stereotyping in the treatment of Mr Alder, the poor level of working practices between police and medical staff regarding transfers of responsibility for care, and failings in the police disciplinary system.

A number of recommendations are made in light of this case, both for policing in general, as well as specifically for Humberside Police. The report criticises the failure of the Chief Constable of Humberside Police to apologise to the Alder family over the forces handling of the case, and calls for an unreserved apology to be made. Two volumes of appendices are available separately (HCP 971-II (ISBN 0102937397) and HCP 971-III (ISBN 0102937400)).

This paper was laid before Parliament in response to a legislative requirement or as a Return to an Address and was ordered to be printed by the House of Commons.