Sean Rigg


Your Local GUARDIAN 05.08.13
Police watchdog review into whether Sean Rigg police should be disciplined.....

BBC RADIO LONDON 19.05.13 Dotun Adebayo show
BBC Radio London spotlights BMH UK's concerns on use of control and restraint......

IPCC 17.05.13
FULL Independent External Review Report - HERE

CHUKA UMUNNA MP 17.05.13 Commenting on the independent review of the IPCC’s investigation into the death of Sean Rigg, Chuka Umunna MP said:The findings in this review completely vindicate the dogged determination Sean Rigg’s family have shown in getting to the bottom of what happened to him, and the review supports the serious criticism that has been made of the IPCC’s investigation......

BBC NEWS 17.05.13
SEAN RIGG REPORT CRITICISES THE IPCC The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) made a series of mistakes in investigating the death of a man in custody, a review has found......

IPCC 17.05.13
IPCC publishes findings of independent external review of investigation in Sean Rigg’s death......

Study criticises Met for miscommunication, poor training and excessive use of force when dealing with mentally ill people......

An independent report has found that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) must improve its response to mental health to reduce the likelihood of deaths or serious injury occurring in the future......

IPCC 27.03.13
3 POLICE OFFICERS ARRESTED IPCC investigators make three arrests as part of on-going investigation into evidence given at inquest into Sean Rigg’s death.......

PANORAMA 19.11.12
As the Independent Police Complaints Commission is handed the investigation into Hillsborough, the biggest policing scandal in UK history, reporter Mark Daly investigates whether the body that polices the police is fit for purpose. Panorama hears from families who say they have been failed by the police watchdog and examines growing concerns that it does not have sufficient power or the independence to hold the police to account.......

IRR 01.11.12
On Saturday 27 October, over 500 people gathered to march from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street for the annual United Families and Friends Campaign remembrance procession for those that have died in state custody......

THE VOICE 28.10.12
Grieving families and campaigners marched to Downing Street yesterday (Oct 27), calling for greater action over deaths in custody.......

BMH UK 27.10.12
Hundreds of families from across the country and supporters came out again this year for the 14th annual United Friends and Families Campaign against deaths in custody.....

UFFC 22.10.12
Press Release.
Death in custody families take their demands to Parliament
Screening & Press Conference
11.00am Friday 26th October 2012
Room W1, Off Westminster Hall, House of Commons, SW1A 0AA

BMH UK 08.10.12
The piloting of CCTV cameras in the back of police vans in the wake of the damning findings of the inquest into the death of mental health service user Sean Rigg, begins today in with four police vans operating from Brixton police station.....

BBC NEWS 28.09.12
Kurt Barling reports: A coroner in London has said there is a risk to the safety of mental health patients who come into contact with police.Coroner Andrew Harris made the claim while delivering recommendations to the Metropolitan Police following the death of Sean Rigg.The 40-year-old died in Brixton police station four years ago and an inquest last month found officers used an "unsuitable" level of force in restraining him which resulted in his death......

A DOCUMENTARY film about the controversial death of Sean Rigg whilst in police custody is to have its premiere at the 2012 West Midlands Human Rights Film Festival in Birmingham next week....

BMH UK 16.08.12
A public memorial meeting to mark the fourth anniversary of the death of mental health service user, Sean Rigg, who lost his life in police custody in 2008, will be held at Lambeth Town Hall on Tuesday 21st August 2012 at 6.30pm....

INQUEST 15.08.12
IPCC commissions independent review of its investigation into the death of Sean Rigg...

‘Lessons Will Be Learned’ After the Death of Sean Rigg, Say Police...

Jury brings damning narrative verdict...

Who Polices The Police?...

CHANNEL 4 14.06.12
Custody death inquest told that victim was 'fit and healthy'...

ITV NEWS 14.06.12
Sean Rigg's sister gives evidence at inquest...

National Fathers Day Vigil marks deaths in custody...

7 week Inquest trial begins at Southwark Coroners court...

BMH UK 14.05.12
Desecration of Sean Rigg Memorial and Brixton Police Station Condemned...

BMH UK 03.05.12
Lack of confidence in IPCC calls for watchdog to be shut down

NEWSNIGHT 30.01.12
10 minute feature on Sean Rigg's Case... view from 30:37

UFFC 20.1.12
No:10 e-Petition
100,000 'Yes We Can'

BMH UK 31.10.11
Outrage at deaths in custody march kettled by TSG police....

UFFC 28.10.11

Let there be justice for those who have died in police custody The deaths pile up each year, and it has been a shocking 42 years since any officers have been found guilty....

The sister of a talented musician who died in police custody has urged the black community to support a public meeting about the issue.....

Serious concerns have emerged about faulty CCTV at one of Britain's most notorious police stations which was at the centre of the summer riots and a death in custody scandal......

Thousands expected to attend London deaths in custody rally next month....

BMH UK 28.10.10
UFFC march on Downing Street demands an end to complacency around deaths in custody....

BMH UK 27.08.10
Sean Rigg memorial pushes deaths in custody up the community’s agenda. Last Saturday's sombre affair saw hundreds of people come out in support of the Rigg family who led a candle lit vigil outside the police station where the musician and songwriter spent his last moments....

On 21 August 2008, our brother Sean Rigg, was arrested by police, “restrained” and transported to Brixton police station in the back of a van. He was removed from the van in a collapsed state and died a short while after whilst in the station yard. He never entered the custody suite door....

BMH UK 16.08.10
Second memorial for service user Sean Rigg set for 21 August 2010. A candle lit vigil to mark the second year since the tragic death of a mental health service user Sean Rigg is set to take place outside Brixton Police station at 5.00pm on Saturday....

BMH UK 08.04.10
IPCC fails to inspire public confidence. The Home Affairs Committee has slammed the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for failing to inspire the public's confidence in their handling of complaints against the police...

House of Commons 07.04.10
Home Office Affairs Committee REPORT. 'The work of the Independent Police Complaints Commission' Published on 7 April 2010 by authority of the House of Commons

BBC 01.04.10
Ian Tomlinson's death marked at first anniversary vigil... "Everybody saw what happened on camera," said Ms Rigg-David, who asked why it had taken "so long" to bring about a legal case against the officer involved. She said there was a need to bring about a prosecution for one reason in particular: "It will show police officers that they aren't above the law."

House of Commons 23.02.10
The work of the IPCC, evidence session. TRANSCRIPT. Home Office Affairs Committee, Inquest, Rigg Family Member, John Crawley and Nick Hardwick.

YouTube 24.08.09
In loving memory of Sean Rigg 1 year on

Guardian 21.08.09
His family, who have been given contradictory statements about the existence of CCTV footage of the events leading up to Sean's death, tell the Guardian about their campagin to find out what actually happened....

Guardian 21.08.09
Family claim cover-up over death in police custody....

Wandsworth Guardian 20.08.09
Vigil for Tooting man dead in custody....

Evening Standard 19.08.09
His family, who have been given contradictory statements about the existence of CCTV footage of the events leading up to Sean's death, tell the Guardian about their campagin to find out what actually happened....

Channel 4 23.05.09
Police custody death: family's anger. The family of a man who died in police custody tell us why they think the independent police investigation into his death has been so flawed. Emily Reuben reports....

Indymedia 23.05.09
Hundreds of folks take to the streets to protest against police violence, naked brutality and killings in custody, on the United Campaign against Police Violence's first national demonstration – STOP POLICE VIOLENCE! KETTLE NEW SCOTLAND YARD!...

Indymedia 11.04.09
Sean Rigg's sisters attend and speak at the Ian Tomlinson Memorial March, who died minutes after being brutally assaulted by a policeman at the G20 protests...

BMH UK 27.03.09
Vigil for the service user, Sean Rigg, 40,who tragically lost his life after he was taken into police custody...

Apology to family for misleading wording of press releases...

New Nation 12.01.09
How did this man Die?

Guardian (Borough News) 8.01.09
Why did Sean die in custody?

BMH UK 6.01.09
Community Police Consultative Group for Lambeth to hear questions on death of service user Sean Rigg...

The Independent 4.01.09
Family hit out at IPCC over death in custody...

ITN 25.10.08
March against custody deaths...

BBC 25.10.08
Custody death families in protest

BMH UK 15.10.08
Service user Sean Rigg, buried on eve of WHO report on Europe's mental health care

BMH UK 3.10.08
Funeral of former service user Sean Rigg sends message that police cells are not 'places of safety'

BMH UK 9.09.08
Tragic death of former service user, Sean Rigg, sends shockwaves through the community...

WRP 25.08.08
Brixton custody death anger...

BBC 24.08.08
Watchdog sees custody death CCTV

BBC 23.08.08
Family seek custody death answers...

BBC 22.08.08
Assault suspect dies in custody...

IPCC 22.08.08
IPCC is appealing for witnesses to a disturbance in the Atkins Road and Weir Road area

IPCC 22.08.08
IPCC investigates Brixton death in custody


The Family seek answers and justice for this tragic death in police custody....

Sean’s sudden and untimely death has come as a shock to the family. On 21st Aug ‘08 he was arrested and restrained by Brixton police - he died very shortly after...Why? INQUEST JURY VERDICT HERE

.Sean Rigg Inquest Verdict  


2.30pm Southwark Coroners Court
Before Dr Andrew Harris

- Full verdict HERE


Southwark Coroners Court

The following matters were found

1. Name of Deceased

Sean Nicholas RIGG

2. Injury or disease causing death

Cardiac arrest
Acute arrhythmia
Partial positional asphyxia


On 21st August 2008 20.24, Sean Nicholas Rigg died at Brixton Police Station as a result of a cardiac arrest.

Sean Rigg last took his depot on the 20th June 2008, the dose administered was 50 mg haloperidol which was half the recommended dose for his condition.

On 11th August 2008 Sean Rigg displayed clear relapse indicators. SLAM’s [South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust] response to these indicators was inadequate. SLAM had failed to put in place a clear and adequate risk assessment and crisis management plan. SLAM failed to communicate and involve Sean Rigg’s family. The clinical team responsible for Sean’s care failed to communicate effectively amongst members of their own team and with the Fairmount staff.

The good treatment and care of Sean Rigg provided by the Fairmount staff was compromised by their failure to put in place an adequate crisis plan. They were not as proactive as they could have been in effective communications with the family or the clinical team.

Communication and crisis planning between key stakeholders, Penrose [Housing Association], SLAM, and the police were inadequate.

SLAM had failed to ensure that their patient Sean Rigg took his medication. Furthermore SLAM’s failure to undertake a Mental Health Act assessment at or from 11th August more than minimally contributed to the Sean Rigg’s death.

Responses by the CAD [Computer aided dispatch] operators to calls from staff members at Fairmount Road Hostel on 21st August 2008 were an unacceptable failure to act appropriately. The lack of timely police responses to calls from Fairmount Road Hostel were also unacceptable and inappropriate.

There was a lack of sufficient and effective communication between the police officers at the scene of the arrest. Those police officers did not communicate sufficiently with the CCC [Central Communications Command], IBO [Integrated Borough Operations], or the staff at Brixton Police Station. The CCC, IBO and staff at Brixton Police Station did not sufficiently communicate with the dispatched police officers. The IBO failed to gather crucial information that was readily accessible. This led to missed opportunities to take earlier action. The police who were aware of relevant information regarding Sean Rigg failed to relay and verify this.

The level of force used on Sean Rigg whilst he was restrained in the prone position at the Weir Estate was unsuitable. In addition there was an absence of leadership. This led to a failure to take appropriate control of the situation.


Please address any queries to Hannah Ward at INQUEST.
For further information please contact:
Hannah Ward, Communications Manager,
INQUEST: 020 7263 1111 /

Sean Rigg

Sean Rigg Inquest
Date: 11th June 2012 -
1st August 2012

.Family Statement  


“Sean was a wonderful, talented and caring brother and son. For years he had lived with schizophrenia. He was under the care of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, and known by Brixton police to have mental health issues.

“We have sat through a long and painful seven weeks reliving the final days and hours of Sean’s precious life. This pain has been compounded by officers at best misleading the jury and at worst lying under oath. The evidence we have heard has left us in no doubt that Sean died as a result of the wilful neglect of those who were meant to care for him and keep him safe. If the South London and Maudsley Trust had done their job properly and provided the care and help that Sean urgently needed, he would be alive today. If the police had not ignored repeated 999 calls from the hostel, and taken Sean to the hospital as they should have done, he would be alive today.

“It was perfectly apparent to ordinary members of the public that Sean was having some kind of mental crisis on the 21st August 2008, when the police were called for help. When the police did eventually arrive they restrained him, arrested him for theft of his own passport, put him in the back of a police van, drove him with sirens, not to the hospital for urgent medical care, but to Brixton police station, left him in a perspex cage in the van and finally brought him to the caged area at the back of the station where he died on a concrete floor, surrounded by police officers.

“Sean was a fit and healthy man who died less than an hour after being picked up by the police. Nothing will bring him back but we want to know that justice will be done. We want to know that those responsible will be held to account for Sean’s death.

“We feel utterly let down by the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into Sean’s death which was inadequate and obstructive from the start. Until it is fundamentally reformed, the IPCC will remain incapable of exposing the truth when people die in police hands.

“We call for the Crown Prosecution Service to look at the damning evidence that has come to light in this case and demand a prosecution of those responsible for Sean’s death.

“We call for an urgent public inquiry to establish why the system in this country consistently fails to deliver justice to the many families whose loved ones have died in police custody. We want to know why, last year, over half the people who died following contact with the police had mental health issues and why, like Sean, over half died in circumstances involving restraint. We want to know why there was also such a sharp rise in the number of black men who died following police contact. We want to know why our system allows officers to continue in their jobs when someone has died in their care and why not one successful prosecution has taken place in this country since 1986.

“Until we have justice there will be no peace for us or the many other families we stand with.

“We would like to thank all of those who have helped and supported us in our long and hard fight for the truth.

“We will continue to fight for justice for Sean.”

Please address any queries to Hannah Ward at INQUEST.
For further information please contact:
Hannah Ward, Communications Manager,
INQUEST: 020 7263 1111 /

UFFC march


Sean Rigg Inquest
Date: 11th June 2012 -
1st August 2012

.Sean Rigg Inquest begins  

Sean Rigg


10am Monday 11 June 2012
Before Coroner Andrew Harris
Southwark Coroners Court, 1 Tennis Street, London SE1 1YD.

The inquest into the death of Sean Rigg, a 40 year old black man who died on 21 August 2008 following contact with Brixton police, will begin on Monday 11 June at Southwark Coroner’s Court.

Sean Rigg was a talented musician and one of five siblings. He had suffered from severe mental illness from the age of 20 and had a formal diagnosis of schizophrenia. He was living in a high support community mental health hostel. His family were intensely involved with his life and his mental health care.

Sean had a history of stopping his medication and falling into relapse. On several occasions he had been detained by the police under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 and taken to a ‘place of safety’. Prior to his arrest on the 21st August he had stopped taking his medication and his behaviour was giving cause for concern. On the evening of 21st hostel staff called 999 on several occasions asking for police to attend the hostel. The police did not attend. Sean then left the hostel and was later arrested after a member of the public called the police. He was restrained by the police, taken to Brixton police station and died soon after.

The ensuing IPCC investigation has been the subject of serious criticism, as has the police handling of the case and their treatment of the family

The family hopes the inquest will address the following questions and issues:



1. Under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act the police may detain someone they believe is suffering from a mental illness and in need of immediate treatment or care. Section 136 gives authority for the police to take a person from a public place to a “Place of Safety”, either for their own protection or for the protection of others, so that their immediate needs can be properly assessed.

2. Evidence sessions will begin on the second day, Tuesday 12 June.

2. Neither the family nor their representatives will be available for comment while the inquest is ongoing. Please address any queries to Hannah Ward at INQUEST.

3. For further information please contact:

Hannah Ward, Communications Manager,
INQUEST: 020 7263 1111 /

Sean Rigg Inquest
Date: 11th June 2012