Safety crackdown on police vans after arrested man’s hand trapped in door

Police story
Police story

New safety devices have been installed in police custody vans after investigations into a Derbyshire an incident in which an arrested man suffered a serious hand injury when a cage door was closed.

In line with other IPCC recommendations the force has accepted a need for additional training for officers in transferring a non-compliant prisoner to or from a caged vehicle and is also looking to buy bespoke equipment for this purpose.

The incident happened on 6 June, 2015, when a man was arrested in Dronfield for being drunk and disorderly. He was handcuffed and put into a police van to be taken to Chesterfield Police Station.

However on arrival it was discovered that one of his hands had got caught in the door and required immediate hospital treatment.

The man was subsequently released without charge.

Following a referral from the force the IPCC carried out an independent investigation which was completed in November (2016).

It considered the arrest and use of force on the man, how he was placed and secured in the police van and the treatment he received when the injury was discovered.

The IPCC investigation concluded that there was no case to answer for misconduct for any of the officers involved.

However it became apparent during interviews with officers that none had received any formal training in placing non-compliant prisoners into caged vehicles. This was highlighted by the IPCC’s investigation report and the need for training in this area was accepted by the force.

Derbyshire Constabulary has also installed flexible finger trap covers on its caged van doors to prevent a similar incident happening again.

IPCC Operations Manager Stephen Bimson said: “The man suffered a serious injury during this incident and while our investigation did not suggest any misconduct on the part of officers it is pleasing that the force has taken on board the learning recommendations from our report and have already taken proactive steps to improve safety and training.”