Independent Police Complaints Commission
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IPCC to investigate West Yorkshire Police after man dies following police custody

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is to investigate events during the period of time a man spent in custody in a Leeds police station who subsequently died in hospital.  

Robert Ward was arrested on 7 October 2014 and was taken to Elland Road police station in Leeds. While in custody he swallowed unknown substances on three separate occasions. He was twice taken to a hospital in Leeds, where he was examined and received medical attention before being returned to Elland Road police station.

Mr Ward, 26, was subsequently bailed by the court on 9 October.He was found unconscious and unresponsive on the morning of 10 October. An ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital, where he remained until he died on 28 Oct 2014.

The IPCC’s independent investigation will examine how Mr Ward was able to retain any substances while in custody, how he managed to take them, whether he was sufficiently supervised and if the necessary risk assessments were conducted.

IPCC investigators are to review CCTV recovered from the custody suite and will be identifying any witnesses useful to the investigation.

IPCC Commissioner Kathryn Stone OBE said: “My thoughts are with Mr Ward’s family and friends at this time following his untimely death. We will be thoroughly investigating how unauthorised substances came to remain on his person while in custody and the care and supervision he received from West Yorkshire Police.”

The IPCC investigation is not examining any issues around Mr Ward’s arrest and/or any link between him taking any substances and his death.

For media inquiries please contact the IPCC press office on 020 7166 3260


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