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Police Custody: Death

Question for Home Office

UIN 55879, tabled on 8 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will investigate the number of BAME deaths in custody where restraint was used in the last 15 years; and what assessment she has made of the accuracy of the Report of the Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody which notes that every prosecution over a death in custody in the past 15 years has ended in acquittal.

Answered on

12 June 2020

Every death in custody is a tragedy, and we are committed to delivering meaningful and lasting change to prevent deaths in custody.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct publish figures for deaths in or following police custody each year. Prior to 2018/19 the data includes ethnicity but does not state whether restraint was used.

In 2018/19, there were 16 deaths in custody, of whom 15 individuals were white and one was black. Six of these 16 individuals had some force used against them either by officers or members of the public before their deaths, although this use of force did not necessarily contribute to their deaths. All six people were white.

The Ministerial Board on Deaths in Custody will continue to oversee and drive progress in response to the independent review. This includes ongoing work to make police procedures more accountable following a death in custody as part of a wider package of police integrity reforms.

Answered by

Home Office
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