“Disrespectful, disgusting and insulting”: Police Scotland chief criticised over custody death investigation


Police Scotland’s Stephen House met with staff, but not family of the deceased

THE SOLICITOR representing the family of Sheku Bayoh, who died while in police custody in May, has hit out at Police Scotland chief constable Stephen House over his handling of the case.

Aamer Anwar, responding to news that House had held “welfare” meetings with police officers at the centre of the case, said the lack of an equivalent meeting with the Bayoh family was “disrespectful, disgusting and insulting”.

According to The Sunday Herald , House met with the officers involved in the case – which now faces scrutiny from the Police Investigations and Review Commissioners – but has yet to meet with the Bayoh family.

Sheku Bayoh, a father from Kirkcaldy, died in police custody following an arrest and altercation with police officers.

Anwar previous stated that postmortum evidence suggested Bayoh may have died from asphyxiation, potentially as a result of being pinned face first to the ground. CommonSpace has previously provided analysis of the claims and counter-claims surrounding Bayoh’s death.

House has faced numerous criticisms recently over his leadership of Police Scotland. Concerns relating to the use of stop and search powers and the routine arming of officers previously led to calls for his resignation.

Recently, evidence emerged that Police Scotland spied on Eamon O’Connor, a journalist who was investigating the murder of Emma Caldwell.

The Scottish Police Federation has signalled its support for the chief constable, stating that his actions showed support for police staff.

Image courtesy of the Sheku Bayoh family