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IAP publish statistical analysis of all recorded deaths: 2000-2010

The IAP has today published their statistical analysis of all recorded deaths in state custody between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2010.  This represents an important piece of work for the Panel as this is the first time that all recorded deaths in state custody will be broken down by ethnicity, gender, age and cause of death, and presented together in a single format.  The statistical analysis covers deaths in:

  • Prisons
  • Young Offender Institutes (YOIs)
  • Police custody
  • Immigration Removal Centres
  • Approved Premises
  • Secure Children's Homes
  • Secure Training Centres
  • Whilst not specifically a custodial sector, the report also contains data on the deaths of patients who died in hospital whilst detained under the Mental Health Act.
The report found that:
  • In total, there were 5,998 deaths recorded for the 11 years from 2000 to 2010. This is an average of 545 deaths per year.  Of these deaths, 72% (N=4,291) were of males and 28% (N=1,676) were of females.
  • A total of 607 deaths were reported in 2000 compared to 512 in 2010 (this represents a 16% reduction between the beginning and the end of the reporting period). 
  • Deaths of those detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA) and those in prison custody, account for 92% (N=5,511) of all deaths in state custody, at 61% (N=3,628) and 31% (N=1,883) respectively.  
  • 66% (N=3,974) of deaths were recorded as natural causes.  Of these, 71% (N=2,814) of deaths were of patients detained under the MHA. 
  • 9% (N=553) of the 5,998 deaths were of individuals from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups, with 5% (N=305) classified as Black, 3% (N=184) as Asian, 1% (N=52) as Mixed Ethnicity and 0.2% (N=12) as Chinese.  87% (N=5,192) were classified as White.  Ethnicity was either not known, or not stated in 3% (N=180) of cases, 1% (N=76) were classified as ‘Other’.  These figures need further analysis to understand whether there is any disproportion between race and ethnic identity and types of death.
  • In 0.3% (N=19) of deaths, the application of restraint by custodial staff was attributed to the cause of death during the Coroner’s inquest.
This publication will be developed in future years to provide more of an in-depth analysis.   If you have any queries about the publication, please contact Matt Leng, Deputy Head of Secretariat to the Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody at


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