Letter: Scrutiny of police deaths

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am somewhat surprised at Raju Bhatt's attack on the way in which the deaths of Shiji Lapite and Richard O'Brien were investigated ("Death in custody defeat for Mills", 29 July).

Mr Bhatt called for His Honour Gerald Butler QC to examine the quality of the information that the Crown Prosecution Service receives from the police.

I am not afraid of scrutiny. I believe that the quality of investigations, which we supervise, is very high. The quality of the investigation was never questioned during the inquests into the deaths of Shiji Lapite or Richard O'Brien or in the recent affidavits to the High Court.

As Andreas Whittam-Smith acknowledged ("There can be no hiding places for corrupt police", 3 August) , the Authority is a force for change. Throughout our 12 years of existence we have pressed for many changes to the police complaints system but have always emphasised that in the majority of cases the standard of investigation is high. Death in custody investigations are invariably supervised by a member of this independent authority.

PETER MOORHOUSE

Chairman

Police Complaints Authority

London SW1

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