26th July 2016

INQUEST responds to IPCC annual statistics for deaths during or following police contact in England and Wales 2015/16

Deborah Coles, Director at INQUEST, comments on the figures are as follows:

“Year on year the vulnerabilities of those who die in or following police custody are recognised. The fact is that too many vulnerable people with mental health, drug and alcohol problems, experience poor treatment at the hands of the police, are much more likely to be restrained by the police and to die in police custody. 

The police are increasingly being called to respond to concerns about the health and well-being of vulnerable people. This highlights the urgent need for an alternative approach to those in crisis. This needs a health and welfare response which requires the proper resourcing of national healthcare provision and alternatives to custody.

What is essential is that these deaths are subjected to robust and transparent investigation. Too many deaths reveal the same systemic or individual failings and the failure to act on recommendations made to prevent further deaths.”

Full access to the IPCC report can be found here, with analysis on the data found here.