Changes are in place, say police following river death
Warwickshire Police say they have increased the life-saving equipment available to officers since the death of Pawel Przydalski.
And that water safety awareness training will be given to anyone expected to carry out such rescue attempts after recommendations by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Following the three-day inquest into the death of the Polish national, an IPCC investigation concluded that police officers have no case to answer in relation to the allegation they failed to take meaningful action to assist when he was in the water.
The inquest also heard there was no lifesaving equipment available to officers, or at the riverside.
A statement from the investigation body read: “The investigation also found that the role Warwickshire Police officers’ carried out in taking part in the search for Mr Przydalski that evening was appropriate.
“Officers remained at the scene to liaise with other emergency services and to assist.
“The IPCC investigator considered that officers were left with very few options as to how they could assist Mr Przydalski when he was in the water and had no access to water rescue equipment.
“The officers’ brief withdrawal from the scene as ordered after a false suggestion was made by a witness that a firearm may be involved was reasonable, in the IPCC investigator’s opinion.
“In light of the circumstances surrounding Mr Przydalski’s death, the IPCC suggested that Warwickshire Police consider making such equipment standard in patrol vehicles used within areas identified as having water-related risk.
“Warwickshire Police has since increased the availability of water safety equipment to attending officers and delivered water safety awareness training to those personnel who may be expected to use the equipment.”
Detective superintendent Gary Watson from Warwickshire Police said: “This is clearly a tragic set of circumstances and our thoughts are with Pawel Pryzdalski’s family and friends at this time.
“The IPCC found that our officers had not failed to take meaningful action with respect to assisting Pawel Pryzdalski when he was in the water and that the role they carried out was appropriate.
“Warwickshire Police have reviewed the availability of water rescue equipment, and it’s accessibility to our patrolling officers.”