IOPC investigating Walsall death in custody
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating the death of a 34-year-old man after being taken into police custody at Bloxwich, Walsall.
The man was arrested by West Midlands Police officers for a driving offence at around 1am on Saturday 19 August and taken to Bloxwich Police Station where he was detained in a cell.
We have established that an ambulance was called after he became unwell and then unresponsive. He was taken to Walsall Manor Hospital shortly before 4am the same morning but, sadly, death was pronounced there at around 5.30am.
Following a mandatory referral from West Midlands Police we began an investigation looking at the circumstances of the man’s contact with police, including the decisions and actions taken in relation to his detention and whether police officers, staff and health care professionals acted in accordance with local and national policies and procedures.
HM Coroner has been notified and a post-mortem examination was carried out on 22 August. The results of further tests, including toxicology, are awaited.
IOPC Regional Director for the West Midlands, Derrick Campbell, said: “My sympathies are with the man’s family and friends, and all of those affected by his death.
“In line with our required role, it’s important that an independent investigation is carried out to fully establish the circumstances whenever someone dies while in police custody or shortly afterwards. We have contacted the man’s family to explain this and we will keep them updated throughout the investigation.”
Accounts have been provided by some officers as part of our initial enquiries and CCTV footage from the custody suite has been reviewed by our investigation team. We are also gathering body worn video from officers who interacted with the man or were on duty at the time.