Suffolk officers under investigation

OFFICERS from Suffolk police are being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) following a mysterious death in Essex, it emerged today.

OFFICERS from Suffolk police are being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) following a mysterious death in Essex, it emerged today.

Lee Balkwell, of Elm Park, was found dead in a cement mixing lorry at a farm in Upminster in July 2002.

An inquest into his death concluded the 33-year-old died unlawfully through gross negligence, but his father Les Balkwell, 62, has always insisted his son's death was murder.

His claim comes despite three separate investigations by Essex Police which concluded otherwise.


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Mr Balkwell has also maintained there was an element of police misconduct in the case.

Essex Police recently announced it was to pay the Forensic Science Service to carry out a re-examination of the evidence.

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But it has also emerged that IPCC has released an official list of 17 Essex police officers to be investigated for the way they handled the incident - along with officers from Suffolk police and the Met in London.

Mr Balkwell said: "It has taken me nearly six-and-a-half years to try to convince Essex Police that my son died as a result of foul play, not a tragic accident."

Both Suffolk and Essex police refused to comment on the details of the case.

A spokesman for the Suffolk force said: “The IPCC is carrying out an investigation.

“While it's ongoing, it's inappropriate for us to comment any further.”

An IPCC spokesman said: "The Independent Police Complaints Commission can confirm 17 officers will be served with Regulation Nine notices in connection with the investigation into the death of Lee Balkwell.

"The IPCC is examining complaints about the way in which Essex Police carried out the investigation.

"The service of Regulation Nine notices is not judgemental in anyway and is served in order to protect the officers' rights when under investigation.”

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