Statement following inquest into death of Miranda Stevenson
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The jury sitting at the inquest of 42-year-old Miranda Stevenson who died while she was detained in custody at Guildford police station on 31 May 2015 has today (12 February), concluded that her death was caused by alcohol and/or drug withdrawal.
Detective Chief Superintendent Carwyn Hughes said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Ms Stevenson following her tragic death, and we recognise the profound impact her death had on those who knew her.
“On this occasion, certain welfare checks were not carried out in line with Surrey Police custody policy while Ms Stevenson was in our care and this is deeply regrettable.
“Ensuring the safety and welfare of those in custody, as far as it is possible to do, has always been of the highest priority to Surrey Police. Since 2015, the Force has made a number of improvements to its custody procedures and training. This has included specific improvements to the training courses and continuing professional development for custody sergeant and detention officers; upgrades to its custody CCTV systems; and the employment of a full-time training sergeant.”
Following Ms Stevenson’s death, the matter was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (formerly the Independent Police Complaints Commission), which carried out an independent investigation.
The IOPC found that there was a gross misconduct case to answer in relation to six members of staff, three of whom left the Force before proceedings could take place. The remaining three were found guilty of gross misconduct and given a final warning.
The IOPC also recommended that an officer should be subject to a misconduct meeting, which resulted in management advice being given.