[holding answer 25 March 2010]: The only contacts which my officials have had with Essex police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in this case have been to obtain information in preparing responses to correspondence on this tragic case received from the hon. Member.
It is for individual police forces to decide how to respond to IPCC recommendations following investigations and Home Office Ministers have no power to intervene in those decisions.
I understand that the IPCC recommended that Essex police appoint an external force to conduct an independent reinvestigation into Lee Balkwell's death.
Essex police decided to appoint an external force to review the Essex police investigations to date. West midlands police is conducting that internal review, which is continuing.