Research & Report - Files

Deaths in custody much higher than officials will admit

source: The Independent
originally published: 31st January 2012

The number of people who have died after being restrained in police custody is higher than officially stated, an investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Independent reveals.

Click here for ‘IAP publish statistical analysis of all recorded deaths: 2000-2010’

Click here to see ‘Prone restraint – what it feels like’ graphic

The investigation has identified a number of cases not included in the official tally of 16 “restraint-related” deaths in the decade to 2009 – including a landmark case that changed the way that officers carry out arrests. Some cases were omitted because the person had not been officially arrested or detained.

The omission raises questions about the statistics used by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to inform the debate over the use of restraint by police in the sensitive area of deaths in custody, campaigners said yesterday.

The cases emerged after a series of applications made under Freedom of Information legislation requesting the names of the people in the 16 restraint-related deaths identified by the IPCC.

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