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31 October, 2017

Julia responds to the Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and the national lead for transparency and integrity, said:

“I welcome the Angiolini Review, and having worked with a local family who have lost a family member in police custody, I know how important this matter is.  There are a number of factors at play here, and many which will require change to the entire system, not just policing.

“I have been concerned about the accountability of coroners for some time, and I hope the National Coroner Service will enable people to challenge poor practice as and when it happens.  I also agree that national changes need to be made to ensure former police officers can no longer investigate these deaths, and that more stringent protocols need to be put in place after a death in custody.

“Potentially most importantly for North Yorkshire though is the continued availability of hospital-based places of safety.  These are the doctor and nurse led units where individuals in mental distress can go rather than to a police cell, which is no place for someone in crisis.  Huge steps have been taken in North Yorkshire, which has gone from zero places of safety to four since I was first elected, and I would hate to see a backwards step in that provision which seems to be the case in Northallerton, and possibly elsewhere.  Health partners have a responsibility to those individuals, who let’s remember have not committed a crime of any kind.  I will be raising this with those partners, and with the Home Office, as a matter of urgency”.