Safeguarding Vulnerable People in Custody
- Wednesday, 21st November 2018
- 10:15am - 4:30pm
- Public Policy Exchange
- £175 - £395
- Book / More Info
The Safeguarding Vulnerable People in Custody aims to ensure protection and to prevent negligence for those who are either an ethnic minority or suffer from mental health issues.
In 2017, there were 23 deaths in police custody in England and Wales, marking the highest number in a decade (IOPC). Of those who died, a higher proportion of ethnic minority people were recorded compared to their representation in the overall population. Additionally, there are also a higher percentage of those with a mental health issue in police custody.
In 2015, the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published a report on the welfare of vulnerable people in police custody, which expressed that “people may be both offenders and in need of care, and that distinction can be difficult to make in the moment for police officers”. The report stresses that every public service should strive to fulfill their role in helping vulnerable individuals, in order to prevent the police from becoming the default response for vulnerable people in crisis.
In 2017, the Home Office published a report of the Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody which identified key recommendations for reform, including measures to ensure proper investigations, increased use of technology to ensure accountability and mental health training standards for all police forces.
While issues about police custody are being discussed, criticism remains. Family members of those who died while in custody are unhappy with the IOPC, arguing that the IOPC does not act as an independent body from the police, due to the high crossover of IOPC leadership and ex-police officers. Additionally, funding for offender management has decreased, leading to more stress on police officers, causing a response which often uses force and restraint more drastically. Additionally, every prosecution over a death in custody the last 15 years has ended in an acquittal, and there has never been a successful prosecution for manslaughter of a police officer (Home Office 2017).
This symposium will provide the police, custody and probation officers, health and social care providers, mental health professionals and government departments with the invaluable opportunity to overcome the challenges involved in safeguarding all those in custody and work together to minimise the risks of serious incidents occurring in the future.
- Review the conclusions of the Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody;
- Consider how to strengthen multi-agency working to reduce police interactions with vulnerable people in crisis situations;
- Examine ways to increase public trust and accountability of the police through the use of video cameras;
- Investigate the role of the IOPC as an unbiased and independent body;
- Develop alternatives to restraint and force when interacting with vulnerable people;
- Assess the benefits of a training standard across all police forces as a way to prevent negligence and increase understanding;
- Discuss appropriate criminal justice response for police forces involved in cases of negligence;
- Share best practice in providing support to family members.
For more information, including the full event programme, click here.
Venue will be announced soon in Central London.