‘Lessons Will Be Learned’ after the death of Sean Rigg, say police

Police & Restraintoriginally by: The Platform  
published: 11 August 2012

The mealy-mouthed phrase ‘lessons will be learned’ seems to be  the last refuge of all senior police officers when caught out with no one else to blame and no other way to explain away a public scandal.

We heard it again on Newsnight (BBC2) on 1 August as Assistant Commissioner Simon Byrne, the second most senior officer at Scotland Yard, squirmed in his seat and comprehensively failed to convince anyone that his force had behaved ethically or honourably in relation to the squalid and eminently preventable death of Sean Rigg at Brixton Police Station in August 2008.

At the inquest into Sean’s death earlier this month, damning evidence of police disregard for their own procedures and downright incompetence was presented to the court and, significantly, not challenged by those representing the Metropolitan Police.

What was shown beyond doubt was that Sean was a very sick young man. Clinically diagnosed with psychosis, he had been failing to take his medication while living in a hostel and had suffered a classic relapse which manifested itself in bizarre and irrational behaviour.

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