Police Will 'Learn Lessons' From Bayoh Inquiry
7 September 2015, 19:08
Police will learn "any and every lesson'' from the investigation under way into the death of Sheku Bayoh, Sir Stephen House has said.
The Police Scotland chief constable reassured Mr Bayoh's family during a face-to-face discussion they described as "robust and honest''.
Sir Stephen, who will step down in December, said the force was committed to establishing exactly what happened when the father-of-two was restrained by officers in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on May 3.
Mr Bayoh's death is being investigated by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) who are consulting medical experts to ascertain the cause after a post-mortem examination proved inconclusive.
The chief constable said it was appropriate to meet with relatives and express personally his condolences only now that Pirc has submitted an initial report to the Crown Office.
He said after the meeting at the Scottish Police College: "While the investigation remains ongoing, this places legal limits on what I can discuss.
"However, I was able to reaffirm our absolute commitment to establishing a full and clear understanding of the events of May 3 and to learn any and every lesson from the findings of the ongoing investigation.''
Relatives including Mr Bayoh's partner Collette Bell and his sister Kadijartu Johnson have previously met with the Lord Advocate and Pirc head Kate Frame as they seek answers over the trainee gas engineer's death.
Family solicitor Aamer Anwar said: "The family appreciated the compassion that the chief constable showed them as well as the personal regret he expressed for their ordeal.
"The Bayoh family understand the frustrations of the chief constable not being able to speak publicly because of an ongoing Pirc investigation.
"The chief constable has assured the family that he would expect Police Scotland to learn any lessons following the completion of the investigation and all legal proceedings.
"Today is an important step forward for the Bayoh family.''
Mr Anwar said it was crucial that Police Scotland keeps the promises made by Sir Stephen after his departure.
He added: "They hope that Police Scotland and any successor to Stephen House will take heed of the lessons that need to be learned so that no other family is put through the ordeal that the Bayohs have had to endure.''