The number of people who have committed suicide in Greater Manchester within 48 hours of being released from police custody has fallen by 25% – bucking national trends, says new research.
Research by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found that in 2013/2014, there were 68 apparent suicides within 48 hours of being released from police custody – an increase of 4.6% and the highest number in ten years.
Two-thirds of that overall figure suffered from some form of mental health issues.
In Greater Manchester the number of apparent suicides fell from four in 2012/2013 to three in 2013/2014.
IPCC Chair Dame Anne Owers said: “Every loss of life is a tragedy.
“So, while we welcome the continuing fall in the number of deaths in or following police custody, the high incidence of mental health concerns among those who die during or after custody remains a serious concern.”
Three people who went on to kill themselves in 2013/2014 had been detained under the Mental Health Act, and a further 42 had suffered from mental health issues.
Dame Owers added: “It is clearly important that the police are trained and supported to recognise and deal appropriately with those who are mentally ill.”
The number of deaths while in police custody is also on the decline, both in Greater Manchester and nationally, but there are growing concerns that more needs to be done for those suffering from mental health problems.
The IPCC’s annual report into deaths during or following police contact shows that there were eleven deaths in or following police custody in 2013/14, down from 15 the previous year and less than a third of the 36 recorded in 2004/05, when the IPCC was first set up.
In Greater Manchester, this figure fell from one last year to zero after amassing 14 across a ten-year period.
The number of police-related fatal road traffic incidents was also at its lowest over the ten-year period, falling by 61% nationally.
For a second consecutive year there were also no fatal shootings by police.
Image courtesy of Ashley Rose, with thanks.