Investigation launched after woman dies in West Midlands Police custody in Oldbury
An investigation has been launched after a 28-year-old woman died in a West Midlands Police custody suite in Sandwell having been detained.
The woman was arrested in the early hours of July 28 and taken to the Oldbury custody suite where she was detained.
Shortly before midnight that day concerns were raised about a deterioration in her health and an ambulance was called after she became unresponsive in her cell.
First aid was provided by paramedics but she was pronounced dead a short time later.
Her death is now being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following a mandatory referral by West Midlands Police on July 29.
They have now launched an investigation looking at the circumstances of the woman’s contact with police, including the decisions and actions of officers in relation to her arrest and subsequent detention and care in custody.
The region's coroner has been notified and a post-mortem examination was carried out last Friday.
The cause of her death has yet to be determined and the IOPC awaits the results of further tests.
IOPC regional director for the West Midlands, Derrick Campbell, said: "Our thoughts are with the woman’s family and friends, and all those affected by her death.
"We have met with her family to explain our role and will keep them updated throughout the investigation.
"Whenever a person dies while in police custody, it’s important that an independent investigation is carried out to fully establish the circumstances, including the actions and decision-making of relevant police officers and police staff, and whether that was in accordance with policy."
As part of IOPC's initial enquiries, their investigators are securing CCTV from the Oldbury custody unit, which will be reviewed along with officers’ body-worn video.
West Midlands Police was contacted for comment and said: "Given it is an IOPC investigation it would not be appropriate for us to comment at this stage."