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Independent Police Complaints Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne on holiday during Mark Duggan investigation
THE commissioner of a body investigating the death of a Tottenham man which sparked nationwide riots faced anger from the public last night.
At a public meeting of a police consultative group at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London in High Road, Independent Police Complaints Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne asked an audience of 150 people to “forgive human error” for misinformation.
Father-of-four Mark Duggan, 29, was killed by a police marksman as he got out of a taxi close to Tottenham Hale station in Ferry Lane, on August 4.
The IPCC – an independent body that investigates any police shooting – told journalists the day after the incident that Mr Duggan had fired at officers, which later turned out to be incorrect.
Last night's meeting turned into a shouting match as members of the Tottenham community demanded to know why that had been allowed to happen.
Ms Cerfontyne said she was “sincerely sorry” and that the press officer to blame had made an error – before asking for forgiveness.
But the former social worker provoked further ire from the crowd when she revealed she had been on holiday for the past two-and-a-half weeks, minutes after asking the public to be patient with the pace of the investigation.
She said: “You wouldn't be happy if we rushed this investigation if we did this really quickly and then we had no evidence – it takes months to build up a case and that is what we are doing.
“But this is unprecedented for us, and we are looking at how we can improve the process and how we can do things faster in the future.”