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Investigation into man’s death in police custody in Cornwall

An investigation has been launched into a 34-year-old man who died in police detention.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed it was investigating the death.

It said the man was arrested near St Austell at around 10:30 BST on 13 July following reports of a car being driven erratically in the area.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it had referred itself to the IOPC following the man’s death.

The IOPC said a post-mortem which took place on Tuesday “proved inconclusive”, and further tests were being carried out.

It said it had established the man had been handcuffed and taken to the rear of a police van on the way to Newquay police station, and that at “some stage” during the journey he had become unwell.

When arriving at the custody unit, officers administered first aid in the station’s yard, and the man was taken by ambulance to hospital.

The man was pronounced dead at around 12:35 BST, and IOPC investigators attended the station shortly after to begin enquiries.

It confirmed accounts had been gathered from the main police officers involved and that it was reviewing police body-worn video footage and CCTV footage from outside the station.

“Level of care”

IOPC director David Ford said it had expressed its “sincere condolences” to the man’s next of kin, and had advised them of its investigation.

He said: “As he was in the custody of Devon and Cornwall Police at the time he became unwell, it is important that we independently examine all the circumstances.

“Our investigation will consider the man’s arrest, the level of care provided to him during the journey to Newquay and on arrival at the police station, and whether officers acted in accordance with policies and procedures.”

An examination of the van took place and further enquiries were ongoing.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We can confirm Devon and Cornwall Police has made a mandatory referral to the IOPC following the death of a man in Cornwall on Thursday 13 July.

“The force is fully co-operating with the IOPC’s enquiries.”

(Source: BBC)

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