Report into deaths in custody ‘kicked into the long grass’

Office Files Binder

source: The Guardian
published: 1 November 2020

The author of a high-profile report into deaths in custody says she is disappointed its demands for reform of the police, justice system and health service appear to have been “kicked into the long grass”.

Speaking three years after the launch of her report, Dame Elish Angiolini QC said key recommendations had simply not been acted upon.

The report, commissioned by Theresa May in 2015 while she was home secretary, contains 110 recommendations for improving the way police and health authorities in England and Wales deal with vulnerable people, including how the police watchdog investigates their deaths.

Among the proposed changes that have not occurred is a national oversight body that would have ensured lessons were learned from controversial deaths, and a national policing policy to limit the use of force and restraint against anyone vulnerable or with mental health problems.

Angiolini said: “My report addressed many issues of great public concern that remain as pressing today. While I have been provided with a general update on some progress, I have not been provided with a detailed report on the progress of each recommendation, and I remain concerned that many very significant recommendations have not been progressed.

“At the launch of my report, I emphasised how important it was that its recommendations must not be kicked into the long grass,” added Angiolini, who has led a review into how prosecutors and police investigate rape cases.

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