15% rise in deaths in custody

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The Independent Online

The number of deaths in custody has reached an eight-year high, figures published yesterday revealed. Almost 230 people died in prison, immigration detention or while staying in probation-service-approved premises in 2011/12, a 15 per cent rise on the previous year, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman said.

There were also three apparently self-inflicted deaths of children in custody. A total of 229 investigations into deaths were started, the highest number since 2004.

Nigel Newcomen, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, said the reversal of the downward trend of recent years was "particularly worrying".