For Immediate Release
IPCC managing investigation into death of Ian Tomlinson
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is managing an investigation by City of London Police into the circumstances of police contact with Ian Tomlinson, who died near to the G20 protests on Wednesday 1 April 2009. This decision will be kept under review as the investigation progresses.
Mr Tomlinson's death was referred to the IPCC on 1 April, following which IPCC investigators have looked at many hours of CCTV, examined statements and police records and spoken to independent witnesses. A post mortem carried out by a Home Office pathologist on Friday evening revealed that Mr Tomlinson died of a heart attack.
IPCC Commissioner for London Deborah Glass said:
"Initially we had accounts from independent witnesses who were on Cornhill, who told us that there had been no contact between the police and Mr Tomlinson when he collapsed. However, other witnesses who saw him in the Royal Exchange area have since told us that Mr Tomlinson did have contact with police officers. This would have been a few minutes before he collapsed. It is important that we are able to establish as far as possible whether that contact had anything to do with his death."
Just after 7pm on 1 April, Mr Tomlinson can be seen on CCTV walking up King William Street and approaching a police cordon opposite the Bank of England. It is believed he wanted to get through the cordon to continue his walk home from work. Police officers refused to let him through.
A short time later, Mr Tomlinson can be seen on CCTV walking around the corner into Royal Exchange Passage. A number of witnesses have described seeing him there, getting caught up in a crowd and being pushed back by police officers. This is the aspect of the incident that the IPCC is now investigating.
Minutes later he is seen on CCTV walking back onto Cornhill from Royal Exchange Passage.
Mr Tomlinson walks for about three more minutes, before collapsing on Cornhill. The CCTV shows that Mr Tomlinson was not trapped inside a police cordon at any stage.
Several members of the public state that they tried to help Mr Tomlinson. Others reported the incident to nearby police officers. CCTV shows police officers forming a cordon around him near a group of protesters so that the police medics could give first aid.
They then carried Mr Tomlinson on a stretcher through the Cornhill / Birchin Lane cordon and continued first aid. An ambulance then arrived and he was taken to hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Commissioner Deborah Glass continued: "The investigation is continuing to look through CCTV footage to see whether the incident inside Royal Exchange Passage has been captured and we already have a number of witness accounts from the area. However, I would ask anyone else who saw Mr Tomlinson at about 7.20 p.m. or who may have taken a photo of him around that time to contact us so that we can build up a full picture of what happened."
Anybody who saw Mr Tomlinson in Royal Exchange Square is asked to contact the IPCC on 0800-096 9071 or email Tomlinson@ipcc.gov.uk.
For further information please contact:
Patricia Keville on 0207 166 3130, Charlotte Phillips on 0207 166 3932 or Amy Wright on 0207 166 3026.
Notes for editors
A managed investigation is conducted either by the police, HMRC, SOCA or UKBA, (in this case the City of London Police) but under the direction and control of the IPCC. Usually, such as investigation takes place when the allegation is of such significance and probable public concern that its investigation needs independent oversight.
The IPCC has overall responsibility for the police complaints system. Since April 2006 it has taken on responsibility for similar, serious complaints against HM Revenue and Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency in England and Wales. The IPCC's jurisdiction was extended in 2008 to cover UK Border Agency staff exercising police-like powers.
The IPCC has the task of increasing public confidence in the complaint systems and aims to make investigations more open, timely, proportionate and fair.
The IPCC is run by a Chair, two Deputy Chairs and ten Commissioners. They guarantee its independence and by law can never have served as police officers. No Commissioner has worked for HM Revenue and Customs. They are supported by more than 100 independent IPCC investigators plus casework managers and other specialists.
From 1 April 2004 to 31 July 2008 the IPCC has used its powers to begin 282 independent and 677 managed investigations into the most serious complaints against the police and other agencies. It has set new standards for police forces to improve the way the public's complaints are handled. The Commission also handles appeals by the public about the way their complaint was dealt with by the local force.
The IPCC is committed to getting closer to the communities it serves. Its Commissioners and staff are based in IPCC regional offices in Cardiff, Coalville, London and Sale plus a sub office in Wakefield.
The IPCC web site is constantly updated at www.ipcc.gov.uk or members of the public can contact the IPCC on 08453 002 002.
For further information please contact:
Charlotte Philips, Head of News
Tel: 0207 166 3932
out of hours urgent enquiries for journalists only 07717 851 157
Contact email: n/a