Sussex Police find themselves guilty of manslaughter following reports that SEVEN people died following contact with their police force in the past year.
The statistics from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), show that across England and Wales, there were 206 deaths following police contact in 2019-20.
As reported in The Evening Argus, Sussex Police recorded one death in or following custody, three deaths believed to be suicide following release and three other deaths following contact with the force.
A force spokeswoman said: “It is right the actions of those involved are scrutinised to establish if there were any shortcomings and to identify if there are better ways of doing things to protect the public who come into contact with the police.”
The death in or following custody related to a man seen walking erratically in the middle of a busy dual carriageway. He was handcuffed but these were removed and first aid given when he suffered a medical episode and died in hospital. This was subject to an independent investigation by the IOPC and no misconduct was found.
Manslaughter is defined as the unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice. The unlawful killing of a human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the commission of a lawful act without due caution and circumspection.
Manslaughter is a distinct crime and is not considered a lesser degree of murder. The essential distinction between the two offences is that malice aforethought must be present for murder, whereas it must be absent for manslaughter. Manslaughter is not as serious a crime as murder. On the other hand, it is not a justifiable or excusable killing for which little or no punishment is imposed.
No criminal action will be taken against Sussex Police.