Policy paper

Deaths and serious incidents in police custody: government response

The government responds to the report of the independent review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody, chaired by Dame Elish Angiolini.


Government response to the Independent Review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody

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You can read the government progress report and an information leaflet for the family of someone who has died in or following police custody.

As Home Secretary, Theresa May commissioned the independent review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody in July 2015, and in October 2015 appointed Dame Elish Angiolini as its independent chair.

The independent review had 3 aims:

  1. To examine the procedures and processes surrounding deaths and serious incidents in police custody, including the lead up to such incidents, the immediate aftermath, through to the conclusion of official investigations. It should consider the extent to which ethnicity is a factor in such incidents. The review should include a particular focus on family involvement and their support experience at all stages.

  2. To examine and identify the reasons and obstacles as to why the current investigation system has fallen short of many families’ needs and expectations, with particular reference to the importance of accountability of those involved and sustained learning following such incidents.

  3. To identify areas for improvement and develop recommendations seeking to ensure appropriate, humane institutional treatment when such incidents, particularly deaths in or following detention in police custody, occur. Recommendations should consider the safety and welfare of all those in the police custody environment, including detainees and police officers and staff. The aim should be to enhance the safety of the police custody setting for all.

Dame Elish Angiolini concluded her review in January 2017 and the report of the review was published on 30 October 2017. You can read the report of the review on GOV.UK.

Published 30 October 2017