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Monday 19 March 2018
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Preventing Deaths in Police Custody

8 November 2012, 10.15am – 4.30pm

Broadway House, Westminster



Deaths in or following police custody is a highly sensitive and controversial issue that has a significant impact on communities’ trust and confidence in the police. In the last decade a number of high profile cases have focused public and media attention on the subject, particularly the police treatment of ethnic minority men, and have provoked long-term campaigns centred on allegations of racism, neglect, ill-treatment and police misconduct.


In December 2010, the IPCC published ‘Deaths in or following police custody: An examination of the cases 1998/99 – 2008/09’, drawing lessons for policy and practice in the hope that future deaths would be prevented. The IPCC’s report identified a number of incidents where officers had failed to adhere to the standards expected and highlighted weaknesses in police training with regards to first aid and the proper use of restraint. It raised concerns for the care of detainees once they arrived in custody, with less than half of the detainees risk assessed on entry to, and during, custody, despite being at risk of suicide/self harm, intoxicated or with mental health needs. The strong link between alcohol/drugs and death in custody underpinned many of the IPCC’s findings, including the need for better partnership working between police and health providers to develop effective joint protocols, and providing an alternative to custody for severely intoxicated individuals.


Following the recommendations of the IPCC’s investigation, and further reports by HMIC and HMI Prisons, ACPO has updated its strategic and operational ‘Guidance on the Safer Detention and Handling of Persons in Police Custody’ (March 2012), in order to raise standards of custodial care. The guidance reinforces the importance of robust risk assessments, particularly when restrain techniques have been used or the detainee is under the influence of alcohol/drugs, and outlines new protocols for dealing with ‘drunk and incapable’ detainees. The guidance also recommends improvements to communication and record keeping during the critical handover period, and outlines new policy for dealing with detainees with diabetes.


This special symposium provides an invaluable opportunity for police and custody officers, health and social care providers, contractors and other key stakeholders to examine the latest ACPO guidance and consider how to improve standards of care within custody and strengthen confidence in the police.


Delegates will:

  • Examine the updated ACPO Guidance and how best to align your organisation’s practices for the effective care of detainees
  • Discuss how to build public trust in the police through greater transparency and accountability
  • Assess how to better identify and monitor vulnerable detainees
  • Explore how to strengthen multi-agency working in order to improve information sharing and develop joint protocols for dealing with vulnerable detainees



Who Should Attend?

  • Police Services and Police Authorities
  • Custody Officers
  • Prison and Probation Officers
  • Investigating Officers
  • Post Incident Managers
  • NHS Primary Trusts
  • Ambulance and Fire Services
  • Local Health Board
  • Social Services
  • Mental Health Practitioners
  • Criminal Justice Liaison Services
  • Forensic Physicians
  • Local Criminal Justice Boards
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Race Equality Councils
  • Race Equality Practitioners
  • Disability Practitioners
  • Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Practitioners
  • Lawyers and Legal Advisors
  • Police Federation Lawyers
  • Community Engagement Officers
  • Community Relations Advisers
  • Occupational Health and Medical Experts
  • Force Medical Examiner
  • Academics, Analysts and Researchers
  • Regulatory Bodies
  • Local Authority Officers and Councillors
  • Central Government and Agencies



To find out more about this event or to book a place, please visit the event page on the Public Policy Exchange website.