THE family of Sheku Bayoh will hand a dossier of misconduct allegations against officers over to Scotland’s chief constable.

Relatives of the 31-year-old - who died after being restrained by police four and a half years ago - believe they have been let down by Scotland’s justice system.

Last month they said they felt “betrayed” after the Crown Office said no officers would face criminal charges, paving the way for the announcement of a full judge-led public inquiry in to the case.

Yesterday family members met Chief Constable Iain Livingstone and set out a whole series of allegations of misconduct by officers, including failure to observe legal requirements on use of legal force, conferring with each other about the case and attempts to smear Mr Bayoh after his death.

The family said they were reassured that Police scotland would co-operate with the public inquiry. But they wanted action on alleged professional misconduct arising from the case.

The Lord Advocate could have asked the chief constable to look at misconduct issues after Crown Counsel decided there was no criminal case to answer at this time.

Speaking through their solicitor, Aamer Anwar, the family said: “Whilst clearly there will be some areas of disagreement it is also important that Police Scotland recognises there is need for fundamental reform of the procedures, processes and accountability when a death in custody takes place.

“Sadly, the family once again are left deeply disappointed in the Lord Advocate’s failure to refer any of the nine officers to the Chief Constable for potential disciplinary or misconduct proceedings.

“We understand that it is the norm in cases such as this for the Lord Advocate to refer matters where they believe there has been misconduct, breach of regulations and serious concerns arising from post incident management.

“Accordingly, the Chief Constable was advised a full dossier of alleged misconduct and breaches of regulations will be provided to him directly, whilst the Lord Advocate will be contacted by the family’s representatives asking for a full explanation as to why his organisation has failed yet again to take action.”

Mr Bayoh died in May 2015 after he was restrained by six officers in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

In a statement issued by Mr Anwar, the family thanked Mr Livingstone “for treating them with compassion and respect”.

They added: “It has been over four and a half years since Sheku Bayoh died in police custody and the family felt betrayed by the decision of the Lord Advocate not to prosecute any of the officers.

“The family understand that Police Scotland were unable to comment whilst Crown Office carried out an investigation. The blame for the undue delay lies with the Lord Advocate’s office and the Police Investigation and Review Commissioner. “

They described their meeting with Mr Livingstone as a “robust discussion”.

This included listing what they referred to as his officers’ failings, including, in their language:

• Highly inconsistent statements;

• Alleged conferring;

• Alleged attempts to pervert the course of justice;

• Deliberate attempts to smear Sheku Bayoh;

• Leaking of false information to the press in the aftermath of the death;

• Several versions of events told to Sheku’s partner and family in the aftermath, which were clearly lies;

• CCTV footage which “starkly” conflicts with the version of events portrayed by the custody officers;

• Reckless actions of police officer acting in an aggressive manner;

• Unsafe methods of restraint;

• A complete breakdown in post incident management;

• Concerns over the role of the Police Federation;

• Lack of accountability to senior commanders;

• A fundamentally flawed investigation by Pirc.

The Scottish Police Federation over the years has defended its members from claims made by the family. However, SPF executives believe the media narrative has been one-sided.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “During a meeting with the family of Sheku Bayoh today Chief Constable Iain Livingstone reiterated his personal condolences, and those of the Service, to the Bayoh family and undertook again that Police Scotland will participate fully in the Public Inquiry which will be established next year.”

The Crown Office also yesterday issued a new statement on the public inquiry.

A spokesman said: “The Crown is committed to supporting the public inquiry which will be held to examine the circumstances leading up to and following the death of Sheku Bayoh, including post-incident management by the police.”


World wars have been fought in less time. It is four and a half years since Sheku Bayoh lost his life.

The 31-year , who had taken drugs, had been restrained by police officers responding to calls about a man seen behaving erratically with a knife.

Earlier this month prosecutors - after a lengthy probe carried out on their behalf by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) - announced there would be no criminal action against any of the officers at the scene.

Mr Bayoh’s family and their solicitor, Aamer Anwar, saw this as a “betrayal”. But they were also angry for what they called an “undue delay”.

They are not alone in this. Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, who represents officers involved in the incident, also thinks investigations in to the case have dragged out.

“There are not many things about this case that we and Aamer Anwar agree on,” Mr Steele said. “But the amount of time this has taken is one of them.”

“The delay,” Mr Steele said, “has been extraordinarily frustrating.”

Police personnel living under the shadow of allegations have Mr Steele and the SPF to speak for them but - as serving officers - feel unable to get their side of the story fully across.

Mr Anwar blamed both Pirc and the Crown Office for delays.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has now called a full public inquiry, which is likely to last longer than an anticipated fatal accident inquiry.

Asked to respond to Mr Anwar’s criticism of delays, a spokesperson for Pirc said: “We note the decision by the Justice Secretary to hold a Public Inquiry into the death of Sheku Bayoh on 3 May 2015.

“The Pirc was directed to investigate the circumstances of Mr Bayoh’s death by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and submitted investigation reports to the COPFS in August 2015 and 2016.

“As this matter will now be examined before a Public Inquiry it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

A Crown spokesman also responded to criticisms of delay. He said: “The Crown appreciates that the time taken to conclude the investigation has been difficult for all those involved.”

“Following careful consideration and thorough review of all the available evidence, including submissions made on behalf of the family of the deceased, independent Crown Counsel has concluded there should not be a prosecution in this case.”