AN investigation into how a man lost the tips of his fingers at Colchester police station and whether excessive force was used has been completed.

However it could take months before any action is taken or the report is released publicly.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission was called in after a suspect had his fingers ripped off and left on a cell floor.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: "The investigation is complete and the final report in the process of being written.

"We have kept the man concerned updated throughout on the progress of the investigation.”

The incident happened in April 2015, when a 33-year-old man had been arrested and was allegedly taunting officers while in the custody cell at the station.

He held on to the rim on the metal toilet bowl in the cell while up to six officers tried to restrain him.

During the incident the tips of three of the man’s fingers on his left hand were severed.

He was then handcuffed and taken to hospital but his fingertips were left behind.

The investigation considered the appropriateness of restraint and whether any first aid was provided before the man was taken to hospital.

The investigation also looked at whether the man’s mental health or ethnicity influenced the actions of officers involved and examined why there was a delay of around five hours to retrieve and transport the severed fingertips to hospital, and a delay of around seven hours in referring the matter to the IPCC.

One officer was placed on restricted duties following the incident.

Once the report is written it has to be "quality assessed" and signed off.

A commissioner from the IPCC then has to decide if any criminal offences were committed requiring a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Even then the report could be delayed as any misconduct proceedings would then need to take place before the IPCC released details.

It is understood Essex Police will wait for a copy of the report before making any comment.