Custody deaths review urges shake-up

From the BBC

Deaths in police custody should be probed by investigators qualified in securing evidence at crime scenes, a major review has said.

The report calls for major changes, including barring former police officers from leading investigations.

It also recommends overhauling the coroner system in England and Wales to protect the interests of families.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the government was committed to “learning lessons and delivering change”.

The long-awaited review by Dame Elish Angiolini, commissioned two years ago by the then Home Secretary Theresa May, makes 110 recommendations including:

  • The Independent Police Complaints Commission – due to be reformed in January – should have on-call teams to respond to deaths of custody 24 hours a day
  • Investigators attending the scene of a death should have “experience of all steps necessary to protect a potential crime scene and secure evidence”
  • Police chiefs should face misconduct charges if they fail to preserve the scene of a death that needs investigating
  • Ministers should consider “drying out centres” to hold people who are detained under the influence of drugs and alcohol, amid evidence that intoxication is a factor in many deaths.
  • England and Wales should have a “National Coroner Service” to deal with “inconsistencies and fundamental shortcomings”

Click here to read the article on the BBC website

Click here to read the full report on the Government website 

The government response, also published on 30 October 2017, addresses Dame Elish Angiolini’s recommendations thematically, according to the categories under which they are summarised in her report. You can read the government response here.

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