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Police have no accurate record of deaths in custody

Issue No. 2289

Police have been underestimating the number of people who have died in custody after being restrained by officers, according to a new report.

The investigation shows that deaths following police restraint are withheld from figures if the person was not arrested before their death. This accounts for 16 “restraint related” deaths between 1998-99 and 2008-09.

The findings were revealed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and BBC radio’s File on 4 programme.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has responded with the promise of an internal investigation.

But there is little hope that the IPCC will reform itself.

No police officer has been convicted of murder or manslaughter after IPCC investigations—despite more than 400 people dying in custody over the past ten years.

The Campaign for Justice for Smiley Culture slammed the IPCC investigation as “akin to the fox inspecting the security on the chicken house”.

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Tue 7 Feb 2012, 18:06 GMT
Issue No. 2289
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