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'Police interaction with the public should be filmed'

DEATH IN CUSTODY: An image of Leon Briggs in Luton

CAMPAIGNERS FIGHTING for justice for Leon Briggs who died in police custody are calling for a law to force officers to film all interaction with the public.

Referred to as “Leon Law”, the proposal was made by The Justice for Leon Committee at a community meeting in Luton, involving representatives from the police, council and the local community.

The issue is to be further discussed at a full council meeting in January.

The committee was set up by friends and family to determine what happened to Briggs in the hours before his death, and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.

It also aims to prevent further deaths in custody.

Liberty Louise, deputy chair and legal advisor of the group, told Luton on Sunday: “We want it to be compulsory for police officers to wear Body Worn Video (BWV) with audio when any interaction with the public is required – from arrest to arriving at the police station.

“This will provide key evidential material to clear any controversy and reduce complaint investigations by providing impartial and accurate evidence.

“Leon’s Law will also benefit police officers and protect the reputation of the police more generally.

“We are pleased with how initial talks have gone and how receptive people have been, but we know this will be an ongoing battle.”

Briggs, 39, from Luton died on November 4 after being restrained and detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

His death is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), who have received statements from over sixty witnesses.

They have also seized CCTV footage from a number of shops and premises on Marsh Road and Willow Way as well as from local authority cameras and Luton police station.

A further public meeting is due to be held at the Carnival Arts Centre in Luton today (Monday, December 23), at 6.30pm to update the community on the progress of the campaign for Brigg’s justice.

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