source: The Scotsman
published: 8 June 2019
A watchdog has warned that delays in holding inquiries into deaths in police custody are having a “profound” impact on the families affected.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) said only four out of 14 deaths in custody since 2013 had so far been the subject of a published Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI).
It recommended publishing regular data on deaths in custody, and said more could be done to speed up the FAI process.
HMICS said the figures in the report related only to deaths that occurred in a custody centre, not those which took place prior to arrival, such as that of Sheku Bayoh. Mr Bayoh died in Kirkcaldy in May 2015 after being restrained by officers responding to a call about a man with a knife.
His family are awaiting a decision from the Crown Office on the case, with a FAI or public inquiry expected to be held in the absence of any prosecutions.
HMICS said: “Of the 14 deaths in police custody that have occurred since 2013, all of which were of men, the determinations of only four FAIs have so far been published.