On 23 July 2015 the then Home Secretary, the Rt. Hon Theresa May MP announced a major review into deaths and serious incidents in police custody.
The review has looked at the major issues surrounding deaths and serious incidents in police custody. This included the events leading up to such incidents, as well as existing protocols and procedures designed to minimise the risks. It looked at the immediate aftermath of a death or serious incident, and the various investigations that ensue. Most importantly it examined how the families of the deceased are treated at every stage of the process.
It has also identified areas for improvement and developed recommendations to ensure humane institutional treatment when such incidents occur. There are several recommendations that will have to be considered by Government, the police, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Coroner as well as other agencies with an involvement in these issues. While acknowledging that it would not be possible to entirely eradicate deaths and serious incidents in police custody, these recommendations are, I believe, necessary in order to minimise as far as possible the risks of such incidents occurring in future. They will also ensure that when such incidents do occur, the procedures in place are efficient, effective, humane, and command public confidence.