Six police officers involved in the death of a man subjected to “excessive” and prolonged restraint at a London Psychiatric Hospital have been cleared of wrongdoing over his death. As a company specialising in the preventing and management of Challenging,  and a provider of  Challenging behaviour training courses and Physical intervention training this case seems to further complicate the already fraught discourse around the safety of physical restraint.

Restraint risksThe officers had denied a number of allegations of misconduct and gross misconduct over the death of Olaseni Lewis in September 2010. The inquest found that “excessive force, pain compliance techniques and multiple mechanical restraints” used by police on Lewis “were disproportionate and unreasonable” and were likely to have led to his death from a hypoxic brain injury and cardiorespiratory arrest.

Assistant chief constable Tony Blaker, who chaired the disciplinary hearing at the Metropolitan police’s Empress State Building in west London said any failings by officers “were matters of performance which would fall to be dealt with by a different statutory procedure, outside the remit of this panel.”

The decision to hold the misconduct hearing without press or public in attendance has been sharply criticised by the parents of the victim.

SecuriCare’s Risk Manager Lee Hollins says, “When dealing with an incident such as this, two processes are occurring simultaneously. Firstly, on a very human level there is a search for blame. Somebody has lost their life, and the friends and families of the victim understandably and quite rightly want justice. The second process is a more objective analysis of the events that came to pass; who did what, how, when and why? Precisely what techniques were used?  What other physical interactions or impacting actions were deployed? How was the restraint managed? How were the strategies being used dynamically risk assessed? What safeguarding actions were taken in response information being gathered by those involved?”

“Risk exists in that time and space shared by members of staff, and the individual who is being restrained. It’s not clear exactly what happened here. All we know is that restraint was used and a young man died needlessly. For those involved in managing physically challenging behaviour we want to learn from tragedies like this in order to prevent the next one. When events are dealt with outside of any public scrutiny valuable lessons can be lost. That might cost someone in the future. We must work to ensure it doesn’t..”

SecuriCare offer a range of courses designed to ensure that nominated trainers can help staff to respond safely and effectively to any ‘Challenging Behaviour’ that may occur, including the application of ‘Physical Interventions techniques’. All programmes are finalised after full training needs analysis and delivered by experienced frontline practitioners. Click to see our ‘Preventing & Managing Challenging Behaviour’ Course which includes ‘Positive Behaviour Management’ techniques designed to minimise the need for any kind of restrictive intervention. You can also take a look at our person centred Behaviour Planning Service.

Contact us for more information and to discuss your needs: E: or T: 01904 492442

Read the FULL story at The Guardian