Police let child abuse suspect run away and kill himself

First published in News by

A Hounslow teacher accused of child abuse ran away and took his own life because police officers broke their code of conduct, it has been concluded.

Lampton School tutor Savraj Powar, 43, jumped in front of an east-bound Piccadilly line train much to the horror of rush-hour commuters at Osterley station in May last year.

The married father-of-two was being investigated by Hounslow’s Child Protection Team over accusations he was having a sexual relationship with a girl in the upper sixth form. He had been suspended from his post over the allegations.

Police officers arrived at Mr Powar’s home in Osterley on May 13 to arrest him but did not restrain or handcuff him, allowing him to flee and drive to the station.

An inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was launched into the incident and ruled that there had been “a clear failing” in the officers actions on the day of arrest.

IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin said: “The officers involved in this arrest fully accepted during interview that they had a duty to supervise their prisoner properly and that they failed to do so.

“As such, they have breached the code of conduct.”

Because of the nature of the child abuse investigations, the officers claimed they had been carrying out arrests in a “low key” fashion, so as to minimise the impact on Mr Powar’s family.

However the report said: “In this circumstance, the need to be sensitive to the family and suspect overrode the officers’ requirement to ensure he was properly supervised.”

Mr Powar was declared dead at the scene of the incident, which was seen by dozens of commuters, including two young girls in their 20s.

An inquest at West London Coroner’s Court recorded a verdict of suicide.

Mr Powar had been involved in police investigations a month earlier after he was found in the car park of the Hare and Hounds pub in Windmill Lane, Isleworth, with five knife wounds to his neck. Police believed it had been an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

The IPCC report advised that both officers should be given “words of advice” over the handling of Mr Powar’s arrest.

Mr Franklin said: “The failings of these officers arose out of the genuine attempts to minimise any stress and upset that could be caused to Mr Powar and his family.

“It has therefore been deemed appropriate that both officers receive words of advise from a senior officer.”

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