In the 10 year period between 2002 and 2012 there were over 380 deaths in police custody in England and Wales, as a result of police shootings or following contact with the police, and more than 290 deaths in police vehicle incidents.
INQUEST has identified a number of particular concerns that arise from deaths occurring in police custody:
- deaths which raise issues about standards of care such as deaths due to self injury, alleged drunkenness or drug intoxication, or poor medical care;
- excessive use of force by police officers;
- disproportionate numbers of deaths following the use of force against people from black and minority ethnicity (BME) communities;
- fatal shootings by police officers.
INQUEST has been involved in supporting the families of a high number of people who have died in police custody or following contact with the police, and is continuing to monitor such deaths closely.
‘Although it is fair to say I was given adequate opportunity to express my views the final verdict was not the one I had hoped for. We were all devastated to think that [our brother] had died in such tragic circumstances and no one had been made accountable.’
– Family of man who died while detained under the Mental Health Act