23 November 2022

Sheku Bayoh inquiry: Retired inspector received one two-day course on diversity

23 November 2022

A retired police officer has told the inquiry into the death of Sheku Bayoh that he received a single course in diversity awareness during his career.

Speaking to the inquiry on Wednesday, retired inspector Stephen Kay said he attended the two-day course in 2001.

The inquiry, taking place at Capital House in Edinburgh, is investigating the circumstances which led to the death of Mr Bayoh in police custody in Kirkcaldy on May 3 2015.

Mr Bayoh’s family believe his race played a role in the way police approached Mr Bayoh on the day of his death.

On Wednesday, questions centred around Police Scotland’s response to the incident and the role played by senior officers who were not at the scene.

Mr Kay was a police incident officer and a temporary inspector at the time of the events leading up to Mr Bayoh’s death.

He was responsible for running the daily business for the Fife division and graded incidents based on their severity, ensuring there was enough resources across the area.

The inquiry was shown Mr Kay’s training record from the time he started with the police in 1996 until he retired earlier this year.

Senior counsel to the inquiry, Angela Grahame KC, asked Mr Kay what other training he had received apart from the two-day course in 2001.

“None that I can recall that would extend to a two-day course,” Mr Kay replied.

“Do you remember this course?” Ms Grahame asked.

“I knew I’d had diversity training, but I didn’t realise it was 22 years ago,” Mr Kay said.

He was then asked if he had undertaken any further diversity training.

“I’ve touched on it in other personal football coaching badges, I’ve touched on diversity and mental health,” Mr Kay responded.

Ms Grahame asked Mr Kay about his experience in dealing with people of different ethnicities throughout his career.

“I was a custody sergeant and would be booking in lots of different nationalities and a whole host of people,” he told her.

Mr Kay said he was “culturally aware” of different nationalities and beliefs but he could not back up any training he might have received around the issues and said he may have read it in an email.

The inquiry then heard from retired police constable Scott Masterson before adjourning.

It will continue before Lord Bracadale in Edinburgh on Thursday.

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