Five officers are under criminal investigation after a 24-year-old man died in police custody in Milton Keynes

Brian Ringrose, who was from the town, died in hospital after he was arrested by Thames Valley Police officers at an address on the morning of Wednesday, January 27.

The officers had medical concerns for Mr Ringrose and requested an ambulance, which took him to Milton Keynes University Hospital.

Evidence gathered so far indicates that after being medically discharged, officers restrained Mr Ringrose in the hospital before taking him to a police van in order to transport him to custody.

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Mr Ringrose was taken to Milton Keynes University Hospital

While being taken to the van, concerns were raised regarding Mr Ringrose’s health, and he was returned to the hospital where he was placed in an induced coma.

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He sadly died in hospital on Tuesday, February 2.

A post-mortem has been conducted and the cause of death was given as inconclusive pending further investigation. 

One of the areas the investigation is looking at is the use of a piece of equipment – a Flexible Lift and Carry System (FLACS) - used by officers to assist with carrying Mr Ringrose to the police van, after his initial restraint with handcuffs and limb restraints.

The force has suspended its use as a precautionary measure while the investigation progresses, and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), are exploring with the National Police Chiefs Council with regards to its use by other forces.

From the evidence gathered so far, five officers have been advised they are under investigation for alleged gross negligence manslaughter and unlawful act manslaughter.

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One of the officers is also being investigated for alleged common assault.

The officers have also been served with gross misconduct notices for potential breaches of professional behaviour, related to use of force and duties and responsibilities.

The decision to inform officers they are under criminal investigation means evidence indicates a criminal offence may have been committed.

This does not necessarily mean criminal charges will follow.

Likewise, the serving of misconduct notices does not mean disciplinary proceedings will necessarily follow.

Bucks Free Press: The police officers are currently under investigation (stock photo) The police officers are currently under investigation (stock photo)

A decision on whether or not to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service will only be made once the investigation is complete.

IOPC Regional Director for the South East Graham Beesley said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Ringrose’s family and all of those affected by his tragic death.

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This is a significant development in our investigation and is based on evidence we have gathered to date.

“We have updated Mr Ringrose’s family and will now seek to interview the officers under criminal caution.

"It is our role to independently investigate all of the circumstances when someone dies in police custody."