Skip to content

Death in police custody 1990 – 2021 (1108A/21)


  1. How many deaths in custody, or following custody took place within the jurisdiction of the constabulary from 1990 to present day?
  2. In what year did each death take place?
  3. Of those deaths, what is the breakdown in terms of;
    1. Age (16-24, 25-34,35-54,55-64, 65+)
    2. Race or Ethnicity
    3. Gender
    4. Mental health diagnosis
  • Of those deaths, what is the breakdown of type of deaths in terms of;
    1. Custody
    2. Shooting
    3. Pursuit
    4. Restrain
    5. RTI
    6. Other
  • Of those deaths, how many officers have been subject to a disciplinary process?
  • Of those disciplinary processes, how many resulted in action taken and what was the action?


YEARS 1990 TO 1998 / 2000


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below). 

The recording system was introduced approximately 1998/2000s and rolled out station by station. Historical cases were previously recorded on paper, and cannot be retrieved.  If these paper copies were stored, they would have to be located and sorted through by hand on an individual basis, this would exceed the 18 hour cost limitations.

I am unable to suggest any practical way in which your request may be modified in order to satisfy your query or bring it within the 18 hours stipulated by the Regulations.

YEARS 2000 TO 2014

Please find enclosed our response.

We can confirm that some relevant information is held by West Midlands Police. However, we are withholding that information since it is exempt by virtue of the following exemptions


Section 38 (1) (a) (b) (Health and safety)


These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:


In line with the above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure. Please find this PIT attached (1108A/21 attachment)


Question 1:


2000 0
2001 0
2002 0
2003 2
2004 0
2005 1
2006 1
2007 0
2008 0
2009 0
2010 1
2011 1
2012 0
2013 0
2014 1


The detailed information is exempt as above, however, I have generalised some data:


Gender: Two of the above deaths were females and 5 were male.

Ethnicity: The ethnicity of those above are 2 white European; 2 Black; 1 not recorded; 2 Asian


YEARS 2015 – 2021

Under section 21 of the Act, we are not required to provide information in response to a request if it is already reasonably accessible to you. The information you requested is available on the following website.


OFFICERS DISCIPLINED – For years 1990 – 2021

 For the years 1990 – 2005 the records are recorded on paper and cannot be retrieved as detailed above.

For the years 2006 to 2021 there have been 10 officers subject to disciplinary investigation and of these 10 officers:

1 x final written warning

1 x management advice

6 x no case to answer

2 x dismissed

Include attachments here


1108A_21 attachement PIT