Manchester

Cleared Longsight GMP officer 'used unnecessary force'

Neville Edwards
Image caption Neville Edwards was jailed for 12 months for biting a police sergeant

A custody officer has been cleared of misconduct, despite a police watchdog saying he used "unnecessary force" on a suspect.

Neville Edwards was pushed and struck four times by the officer at Longsight Police Station in Manchester in 2015.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has published its findings which said there had been a misconduct case to answer.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) disagreed and cleared the officer.

GMP is yet to comment on the decision of the misconduct tribunal.

Edwards, 32, said: "It's a real kick in the teeth to be quite honest.

"You put your faith in a system to hopefully get the right result and when that system absolutely lets you down at every stage, I mean this has gone on for two years. I know there are people who have waited longer.

"You shouldn't have to go through the things that you go through to get justice. For that simple assurance that yes something will be done about this."

Image caption Edwards alleged excessive force had been used on him in the cell

The force voluntary referred itself to the IPCC in January 2016 following the incident on 16 and 17 July 2015.

Edwards alleged that excessive force had been used on him in a cell.

The IPCC told GMP in September evidence showed a custody detention officer forced Edwards to the floor of a cell and struck him four times.

'Serious allegations'

This action was taken before Edwards bit a police sergeant for which he was later sentenced to 12 months in prison.

The IPCC found the officer used "unnecessary force" and said the officer had a case to answer for misconduct.

GMP disagreed with the finding and in February the police watchdog directed disciplinary proceedings take place.

The GMP misconduct meeting, held in private on 17 August, concluded the officer's actions had not amounted to misconduct, the IPCC said.

IPCC commissioner Jan Williams said: "This was a thorough investigation looking at serious allegations against Greater Manchester Police officers.

"The decision to direct misconduct proceedings - never taken lightly - ensured that the custody detention officer's actions were properly held to account."

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