Avoidable deaths in police custody


The Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (IAPDC) has today, 2 December 2022, published a report which brings together, for the first time, a wide range of policing practice across England and Wales to prevent deaths at the point of arrest, during and after custody.

The report finds that many police forces have forged partnerships with allied health and justice services to play to professional strengths, reduce inappropriate use of police time and prevent deaths in custody. However, practice is not uniform across England and Wales, with limited evidence that forces are sharing findings after a death, involving bereaved families in driving change or working with healthcare partners to provide effective support for vulnerable individuals following release.

APCC Mental Health and Custody lead, PCC Emily Spurrell, said: “I welcome the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (IAPDC) report and its important emphasis on making custody suites safer.

“Nobody should die in police custody and although in recent years we have witnessed a decline in these devastating incidences, the IABDC’s report sets out helpful recommendations and identifies good practice, including examples of PCC led activities, to help achieve zero deaths in custody.

“I will now work with colleagues to promote the IAPDC’s recommendations, focusing on increasing consistency, collaboration with health partners and sharing of good practice. I will also support the national focus on reducing deaths in custody by seeking to work with the Ministerial Board on Deaths in Custody.”


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