Deaths in police custody reform, progress update 2021

Police at 10 Downing Street
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source: GOV.UK
published: 20 July 2021

We are sharing the item below which links to the previous publications on this topic, listed at the end of this article.

The UK Government is committed to delivering meaningful and lasting change to prevent deaths in custody and support families. That is why on 23 July 2015, then Home Secretary Rt Hon Theresa May MP announced a major review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody, focusing on the experience of bereaved families.

This followed the former Home Secretary’s meetings with bereaved families who made clear that the system was not fit for purpose; not only in preventing deaths in police custody, but also ensuring families are supported throughout the process and lessons are learned and implemented quickly.

The Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC’s Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody  was published on 30 October 2017 (‘ the Review’). The Government’s substantive response  was published on the same date.

The Review made 110 recommendations to Government departments, police forces in England and Wales and public sector organisations. Many of them are cross-cutting and multi-disciplinary in nature.

The review looked at the events leading up to such incidents, as well as existing protocols and procedures designed to minimise the risks. It covered the immediate aftermath of a death or serious incident and the various investigations that ensue. Crucially, it also focused on how families of the deceased are treated at every stage of the process.

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Related Publications:

UN calls for end of ‘impunity’ for police violence against black people
29 June 2021

Report into deaths in custody in England and Wales ‘kicked into long grass’
1 November 2020

Campaigners alarmed at College of Policing ‘Protection after police contact’ policy
14 September 2020

Landmark review on deaths in police custody published today is an opportunity to save lives
30 October 2017