27 November 2018

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services has today (27 November 2018) published their report on Policing and Mental Health – Picking Up the Pieces.

Victoria McNally, caseworker at INQUEST said:
“A high proportion of deaths in police custody involve people with mental ill health. INQUEST’s work evidences repeated failures of police to ensure basic standards of care, necessary to protect those in distress.

This report is yet more evidence that too many people with mental ill health come into contact with the police, as a result of ill equipped mental health services.

We welcome the inspectorate’s call for a long-term solution and urge the Government to implement the recommendations on mental health from the Angiolini Review into deaths in police custody.”


For more information and interview requests contact Lucy McKay on email or 020 7263 1111

  • The Angiolini review was commissioned by Theresa May, then Home Secretary, after meeting the families of Olaseni Lewis and Sean Rigg, both of whom died following restraint by police officers whilst suffering mental ill health.

  • 2017/2018 the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) recorded 23 deaths in or following police custody, 12 of these deaths had mental health concerns.

  • INQUEST policy briefing on the Angiolini Review includes a chapter on mental ill heath and policing.

  • In 2017, the then IPCC (now IOPC) published a report on Six Missed Chances to prevent James Herbert’s death in custody, with national recommendations on policing and mental health.

  • Kevin Clarke, Sean Rigg, James Herbert, Olaseni Lewis and Thomas Orchard are examples of those who have died in circumstances involving the use of force and restraint by the police during a mental health crisis.