Lancashire officers "acted appropriately" during detention of late disabled man in Blackburn

Lancashire Police officers involved in detaining a man who then fell ill and died acted in line with their training and guidance, an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation has ruled.

By Emma Downey
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 4:27 pm

Peter Howieson, 52, was stopped in Blackburn town centre on 24 March 2020 by an officer who planned to search him for suspected drugs.

After seeing Mr Howieson place what he believed to be an illegal substance in his mouth, he attempted to stop him swallowing the item.The officer used force to restrain Mr Howieson, striking him and taking him to the ground before handcuffing him with assistance from two members of the public.A short time later, the man became unresponsive and officers called an ambulance and began CPR.

Mr Howieson was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital, where he later died.

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Peter Howieson, 52, died in hospital on March 24 after becoming unwell during a stop and search by a police officer in Higher Church Street, Blackburn

OPC investigators conducted interviews with the police constable involved, as well as two security guards who witnessed the incident.At an inquest last week, the jury found his death was caused by a combination of natural causes and misadventure. Mr Howieson suffered from a pre-existing condition, a colloid cyst, which was unknown to the officers, that meant a sudden movement could be fatal.Following the ruling, a spokesperson for the IPOC said: “We are now able to report the findings of our investigation, which concluded in March 2021.

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Disabled man dies after being detained by police in Blackburn
The IOPC ruled that Lancashire police officers acted appropriately during the detention of the late Peter Howieson, 52, who they stopped in Blackburn town centre