To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions (a) officials and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with (i) Essex Police and (ii) others on the death of Lee Balkwell at Baldwins Farm, Upminster on 18 July 2002; and if he will seek an explanation from Essex Police on why it has not implemented in full the recommendations of the Independent Police Complaints Commission in relation to the investigation of the case.
The only contacts which my officials have had with Essex police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in this case have been to obtain information in preparing responses to correspondence on this tragic case received from the hon. Member.
It is for individual police forces to decide how to respond to IPCC recommendations following investigations and Home Office Ministers have no power to intervene in those decisions.
I understand that the IPCC recommended that Essex police appoint an external force to conduct an independent reinvestigation into Lee Balkwell's death.
Essex police decided to appoint an external force to review the Essex police investigations to date. West midlands police is conducting that internal review, which is continuing.