Author Archives: Zinzi Eka-Naphtali

Home secretary committed to solving deaths in custody crisis

Borstal young offender cellsource: The Voice Online
published: 4 May 2015

Theresa May has expressed solidarity with those who have lost family members as a result of deaths in custody. In a revealing letter written by May, she echoed the sentiments of families who feel let down by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The families of Sean Rigg and Olaseni Lewis, young black men who died in police custody in 2008 and 2010 respectively, met with the home secretary in January.

Following their meeting, in a two-page letter addressed to the Rigg’s family lawyer Daniel Machover, May outlined key areas of concern and accepted that more needed to be done in order to produce “meaningful solutions”.

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Police fail domestic abuse victims, says official report

Woman in Distressby: BBC News
published: 27 March 2014

Thousands of people are at risk of harm or even murder because of widespread police failure in England and Wales to tackle domestic abuse, a report says.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary said there was an alarming and ineffective response by many police forces.

And it accused them of unacceptable weaknesses despite domestic abuse being linked to 8% of crimes and police chiefs saying abuse was a priority. Police chiefs said they were working to improve their response despite cuts.

HMIC said police received more than one million calls a year relating to domestic abuse and almost 58,000 victims – the vast majority of them women – were at risk of serious harm or murder.

It said three women a fortnight were being killed by a partner or former partner and a third of all assaults recorded by the police related to domestic violence.

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Jury finds ‘serious failings’ in the death of Sarah Higgins

Prison Cell Emptyprovided by: INQUEST
published: 29 October 2013

The inquest into the death of Sarah Higgins at HMP Bronzefield concluded on 28 October 2013 with the jury finding that serious procedural failings and inadequate formal training contributed to Sarah’s death.

Sarah died on 8 May 2010 aged 30. At the time of her death, Sarah had three children aged 5, 6 and 11. Sarah was discovered unresponsive on the floor of her cell shortly before 4.30 am by a Prison Custody Officer. Emergency resuscitation was unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at 4.48 am. A Kinder Egg containing various drugs was found in her clothing.

Before arriving at HMP Bronzefield, Sarah had been in the custody of Sussex Police following her arrest on 5 May 2010. Whilst in police custody she was on constant watch due to police officers having witnessed what they suspected to be Sarah secreting drugs.

On 7 May 2010, Sarah was taken by SERCO escort officers to Brighton Magistrates Court where she was remanded into custody at HMP Bronzefield, a private prison run by Sodexo.

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