01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Report into police custody deaths highlights conferring over statements, treatment of mentally ill and use of excessive restraint as concerns

Report into police custody deaths highlights conferring over statements, treatment of mentally ill and use of excessive restraint as concerns



It seems highly significant that an official review into police custody deaths is set to lead to more than 100 recommendations being made in a bid to make far-reaching reforms to the UK police and justice system.

The findings of the report, which are still to be officially published but have been reported by the Guardian newspaper in advance, do not reflect well on the actions of police forces across the UK when taking people into custody.

According to the newspaper article, a ‘racial disproportionality in police restraint deaths’ has been highlighted, with calls made for forces to be held to account on “an individual and corporate levels” if restraint of a suspect is deemed excessive, unnecessary or disproportionate.

The recommendations of Dame Elish Angiolini QC, a former chief lawyer to the Scottish government, also appear to call into question the integrity of some police forces following deaths in custody.

It is said to highlight ‘conferring’ between officers after incidents and before they make their individual statements is a matter of concern.

The report is also said to highlight “victim blaming” – in which police forces leak details to the media after a death in a bid to “deflect blame” – as another area of worry.

Such findings certainly do little to boost public confidence in our police forces and suggest Theresa May was right in her actions when ordering this this report when still Home Secretary.

When finally published, the finding and conclusions of this report could further damage that level of trust between families and communities and our police forces.

Sadly, many people are unjustly treated badly, and then find obstructions in their way when looking to challenge the actions of those employed to uphold the law.

Calls for major change in police custody

One of the most significant aspects of the report, as reported by the Guardian, is a call for a ban on those detained under mental health powers being held in police cells, and being transported in police vehicles, except in exceptional cases.

The report is expected to say that holding those believed to be suffering from mental health issues in police cells should be phased out completely, and this is certainly something I believe is a much needed change.

Too often, in the cases I have seen in my work as a civil liberties specialist at Hudgell Solicitors and read about, the mental capacity of an individual when being taken into custody has not been considered early enough in the matter.

The report is set to urge mental health training of the same standard across all 44 forces in England and Wales for officers, new recruits, plus refresher training.

I believe this would make officers better placed to spot when people have mental health challenges, and have a hugely positive impact on policing and reducing health risks.

Cameras in police vans and on all officers would eliminate conflicting accounts

It is also very interesting to read that Dame Angiolini is to call for video cameras in every police van used to transport a prisoner, and on every frontline officer.

This again would be a very valuable change, as I have worked on cases where the events around an arrest – and during transportation of a suspect to a station – have been strongly disputed and inconsistent.

Without any video footage it can be very difficult to draw an accurate conclusion as to what actually happened. There can, however, rarely be dispute over clear video evidence.

I also welcome moves to ensure families of those who die in police custody will receive “free, non means-tested” legal advice from the start of the process, through to an inquest.

At present, police and state organisations are publicly funded to defend themselves against accusations of wrongdoing and misconduct, while families are often left struggling to get legal aid to cover the cost of holding forces to account.

Finally, the report is to call on the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to robustly challenge discrimination – even to where it can simply have been ‘inferred’ – and to establish a deaths and serious injuries unit.

It says the IPCC must do better in its work to gain public confidence, calling on it to formally request in writing the suspension of officers under investigation for criminal matters or for gross misconduct, or placing them on restricted duties, with a presumption they will be dismissed if found guilty.

Thankfully, the numbers of deaths in police custody have been declining, from 65 in 1998 to 17 last year and 14 the previous year.

But still, given the huge amount of recommendations being made here, it is clear that major improvements are needed.

These changes need to be made quickly to improve the relationship and trust between public and police.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Andrew Petherbridge

Head of Civil Liberties

ap@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful and truly understanding in…

"Very helpful and truly understanding in a very sensitive case would highly recommend to anyone"

Miss Sarah Morris

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly

"Friendly, supportive and professional, couldn't ask for more."

Mr Adrian Fisher

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A first class service with a heart too

"I never had claimed before and was quite apprehensive about dealing with claims solicitors as… "

M Sheikh

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on…

"They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on my own after my experience. They… "

Mrs Melinda Diane Tovey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

The service was excellent and Lauren…

"The service was excellent and Lauren Cartwright kept me well informed and gave good advice… "

Mr Roger Harrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended company

"Excellent service, fully recommended. Efficient communication and reliable."

Mr R Taylor

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell took over my road traffic case…

"Hudgell took over my road traffic case from a different solicitors and successfully negotiated a… "

Mr JSW

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors made my personal…

"Hudgell Solicitors made my personal injury claim so easy, they got me the treatment i… "

Mr Nick Todd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I have never used solicitors before

"I have never used solicitors before, my dealings with Hudgell have been excellent I have… "

David Varley

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful

"Very helpful"

Ethan Ferguson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

First Class service

"Hudgell Solicitors are currently working on my case and I must say so far the… "

Emma Jeeves

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always kept me up to date on all…

"Always kept me up to date on all correspondence concerning the case and acknowledged any… "

Mrs Anne Marie Wells

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 454 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90