In the 10 year period between 2002 and 2012 there were over 380 deaths in police custody in England and Wales, as a result of police shootings or following contact with the police, and more than 290 deaths in police vehicle incidents.
INQUEST has identified a number of particular concerns that arise from deaths occurring in police custody:
- deaths which raise issues about standards of care such as deaths due to self injury, alleged drunkenness or drug intoxication, or poor medical care;
- excessive use of force by police officers;
- disproportionate numbers of deaths following the use of force against people from black and minority ethnicity (BME) communities;
- fatal shootings by police officers.
INQUEST has been involved in supporting the families of a high number of people who have died in police custody or following contact with the police, and is continuing to monitor such deaths closely.
‘I’ve been a long-time supporter of the crucial work that INQUEST does. Until there is legislation to change the way inquests are conducted and the provision of legal and psychological support to the bereaved of those who died in custody, INQUEST will continue to be a vital source of support for families.’
– Linton Kwesi Johnson