Shoplifting suspect dies in police custody

An investigation was under way today after a woman died in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of shoplifting.

The 32 year old from Worthing was found unconscious in her cell at the Worthing police custody centre in Durrington, West Sussex, at 1.35pm yesterday.

Paramedics attended but she was pronounced dead at 2pm, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and the coroner's officer were informed as is standard force policy.

An IPCC investigator and Sussex Police's professional standards department attended the centre and a police spokesman said the IPCC was currently considering its level of involvement.

He added: "The woman's family have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this distressing time.

"A post-mortem is currently being arranged and the time and place have not yet been confirmed.

"Until that has taken place we are unable to comment on any cause of her death.

"Her identity will be released once formal identification has taken place."

Police said the woman had been arrested yesterday on suspicion of shoplifting in the town centre on Saturday afternoon.