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News and Events

Deaths in Police Custody reach ten year high

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Deaths occurring in police custody have increased 64% in a year, with figures produced by the Independent Office for Police Conduct identifying 23 deaths in police custody for the period 2017/2018 in comparison to 14 in the previous year.

Out of the 23 fatalities, 17 of those who died in police custody had been restrained or had force used against them by police or others before their death.  Of these 17, nine were White and eight Black.

The figures further highlight that over half of those who died while in custody had mental health problems and over 75% had connections to drugs and/or alcohol.

The Minton Morrill Inquest team are experienced in representing bereaved families in relation to inquests involving deaths in police custody or arising from police contact. The statistics highlight real concerns about the developing mental health crisis in England and Wales.

We are however acutely aware that these alarming figures are not representative of all deaths involving the police as they do not appear to include deaths which occurred within a short time of the deceased being in police custody. This raises questions as to whether these figures are in reality substantially higher.

If you would like to speak with a member of the Minton Morrill Civil Liberties Department regarding any of the above issues, please call on 0113 245 8549 or contact us by email at