23rd July 2013

The IPCC has today published their annual statistics on deaths during or following police contact for the year 2012-13.

In response, Deborah Coles, co-director of INQUEST said:

“The IPCC figures add to the already substantial body of evidence that police custody is not the place for people with mental health problems. Despite countless critical inquest jury verdicts and coroners’ recommendations, deaths of people with mental ill health, often involving restraint, are continuing.

“The high number of people taking their own lives following release from police custody is also extremely alarming.

“Nothing could point more clearly to the urgent need for a national strategy on mental health and policing, across all forces, and for investment in community health provision.

“And where there is evidence of wrongdoing, the IPCC must have an investigation process that ensures individuals and institutions are held to account. Without this, we won’t see the change in police culture and practice that is so badly needed.”