Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Probe into police suspect's death

An independent inquiry has been launched after an Afghan teenage prisoner committed suicide shortly after his release from police custody.

Mohammed Safi was held on suspicion of immigration offences on 30 October.

The 18-year-old was found seven hours after his release in the River Thames at Southwark. He had drowned.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will examine the circumstances around his arrest, questioning and release.

Rachel Cerfontyne, of the IPCC, said: "This is a very sad case where a family has lost a loved one and it is right that an independent investigation is undertaken to see if there was anything police could have done while Mr Safi was in custody to have avoided this outcome."

Investigators will consider whether Mr Safi displayed any indications while in custody that he was at risk of self-harm and whether his grasp of English should have warranted the use of any specialist provision such as a translation service, she said.

The IPCC will also examine whether the teenager's time in custody complied with Metropolitan Police procedures regarding dentention and release.

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