HC Deb 22 November 1982 vol 32 cc324-5W
Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Attorney-General what steps have been taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure that a full investigation is carried out into the allegations of assault by a police officer on a Nigerian student, who lost his testicle as a result of injuries received in the assault; whether, in particular, the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed the investigating officer to interview the student concerned in person; and when the Director of Public Prosecutions may be expected to make a decision on possible criminal proceedings against the officer or officers concerned.

The Attorney-General

An investigation into the student's complaint was carried out by a senior officer of the Metropolitan Police in 1978. Following complaints about the manner in which that investigation was conducted, the matter was re-investigated by an assistant chief constable of the Hertfordshire constabulary, who submitted his report to the Director of Public Prosecutions on 11 October 1982.

The assistant chief constable made strenuous efforts to interview the student concerned. He first wrote to the student, who had returned to Nigeria some time previously, and received a letter in reply suggesting that he get in touch by telephone. The assistant chief constable then made four pre-arranged telephone calls on consecutive days, none of which appointments were kept by the student. The officer then wrote again, enclosing a written questionnaire, but, whilst it is understood that the questionnaire was received, it has not been completed and returned. Before submitting his report to the Director, the officer made three further telephone calls to Nigeria, again wihout success. he was informed by another person in Nigeria that the student had left his home address and that it was not known when he would return. The officer took the view that the expense of his travelling to Nigeria, in the apparently remote possibility of making contact with the student, was not justified.

On 26 October1982 the Director made known to the police his decision that the evidence obtained during the re-investigation was not sufficient to justify the institution of criminal proceedings against any police officer. I have myself considered that evidence and agree with the Director's decision.