Police forces in England and Wales must refer to the IPCC all deaths and serious injuries that occur either while someone is in police custody or soon after they are released from police custody. The IPCC has prioritised work to reduce such deaths and serious injury, focusing on deaths of people who have been arrested or otherwise detained by the police and those that occur while a person is being arrested or taken into detention. The death may have taken place on police, private or medical premises, in a public place or in a police car or other vehicle. “Serious injury” is defined as a fracture, deep cut, deep laceration or injury causing damage to an internal organ or the impairment of any bodily function.
The IPCC will investigate the majority of these cases and will work to identify issues arising from deaths and serious injuries in police custody. We will also make national recommendations for changes to processes to prevent these incidents occurring again, share learning with other agencies at the Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody, and proactively engage with community groups to obtain feedback on these serious incidents.
Deaths in Police Custody Study
Deaths during or following police custody: Statistics for England and Wales
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