source: Express & Star
published: 20 February 2016
Seven people have died while in police custody across the West Midlands in the last 12 years, figures have revealed. They include five men and two women arrested on suspicion of crimes ranging from driving while unfit through drink or drugs to affray.
Among them was mother-of-four Sharmila Ullah who was being held at Bloxwich Police Station in July 2014 after being arrested for shoplifting.
A coroner concluded there had been some ‘individual failings’ in regards to observations while she was in custody but he was not satisfied they had contributed to her death.
Responding to the figures – which were released under the Freedom of Information Act – West Midlands Police said several ‘safeguards’ had been put in place in recent years.
They include the assessment and regular re-assessment of the health and mental wellbeing of those brought into custody, CCTV covering all public areas and some cells, routine safety reviews of custody facilities and training for custody staff.