"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

#UFFC Continues Call For Public Inquiry Into Deaths In Custody


UFFC continues call for public inquiry into deaths in custody [1.5217391304348]

The United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) are continuing their campaign to call for an independent judicial inquiry into all suspicious deaths in custody.

UFFC, a coalition of families and friends of those that have died in the custody of police and prison officers as well as those who died in psychiatric and immigration detention. It also has members and supporters from campaign groups and advocacy organisations from across the UK.

The issue of deaths in custody were back on the agenda last year when American civil rights icon Reverend Jesse Jackson backed calls for a public inquiry at a press conference  held at Operation Black Vote’s headquarters.

There is further concern following a report published by the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody report in 2011 which stated in total, there were 5,998 deaths recorded for the 11 years from 2000 to 2010, an average of 545 deaths per year. Despite the fact there have been 11 unlawful killing verdicts since 1990 there has never been a successful prosecution.

However, UFFC believe these reforms have not addressed the lack of justice in outstanding cases and say that equitable dispensation justice in the UK must be done and be seen to be done if the general public are to enjoy high levels of trust and confidence in the fair administration of justice.

The poor quality and speed of independent investigations conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and an Inquest process that is seriously under resourced, subject to delay and limited in remit and is not fit for purpose. Both critically fail to protect or support the rights of victims or their families.

UFFC’s demands include:

1. Replacement of the IPCC to ensure open robust transparent and thorough investigations from the very outset of police deaths in custody – with a removal of all ex-police officers for it to be a truly independent body.

2. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman should be placed on a statutory footing.

3. Deaths in psychiatric detention and / or of those detained under the Mental Health Act must be subject to a system of properly funded investigation that is completely independent of the Health Service.

4. Officers and officials directly involved in custody deaths are suspended until investigations are completed.

5. Immediate interviewing of officers and all officials concerned with the death.

6. Officers and officials should never be allowed to collude over their evidence and statements of fact.

7. Full and prompt disclosure of information to the families affected.

8. Prosecutions should automatically follow ‘unlawful killing’ verdicts at Inquests and officers responsible for those deaths should face criminal charges, even if retired.

9. Implementation of police body cameras and cameras in all police vehicles in the interests of both the officers and the public.

10. There should be an automatic right to non-means tested legal aid for families. There is a lack of funds for family legal representation at Inquests whilst officers and NHS staff get full legal representation from the public purse – this is unbalanced.

The UFFC are encouraging people to sign an online petition to get the government to address the issue of deaths in custody. Click on the link below

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/26276

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s