THAMES Valley Police (TVP) have been reminded about the 'importance of preserving the integrity of evidence', following the death of an Oxford student in its custody.

The Independent Office for Police (IOPC) also issued updated guidance around drug-related incidents following the death of Nuno Cardoso - and revealed that one officer in the case faced a misconduct hearing.

25-year-old Mr Cardoso, a Ruskin College student, died in the back of a police van on November 24, 2017, after being arrested.

Oxford Mail:

A recent jury inquest into his death concluded police used 'reasonable, necessary and proportionate force' during the incident, but the IOPC has now released a report criticising TVP on other grounds.

The force has accepted three formal recommendations, including 'updating policy and guidance on drug-related incidents'; 'reflecting statutory IOPC guidance regarding separating key police witnesses and preserving the integrity of the investigation'; and 'ensuring appropriate, effective instructions are provided to officers immediately following a death or serious injury regarding securing the best evidence'.

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The IOPC also said it formally recommended that one PC 'had a misconduct case to answer for allegedly breaching the standards of professional behaviour... by taking Mr Cardoso to custody without taking steps to confirm whether he was concealing something in his mouth'. But, at a June meeting, the case was not proven.

IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green explained: “Our investigation was assisted by body worn video and it is clear that the officers faced a challenging set of circumstances and encountered resistance during the incident.

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“Our investigation has identified learning for the police which will improve policing practices. We have made three formal recommendations which I am pleased Thames Valley Police has accepted.”

The inquest's narrative conclusion stated that Mr Cardoso died as a result of cardio-respiratory arrest caused by intoxication from alcohol, cocaine and morphine.