Police watchdog issues statement after woman's death while in custody

A police watchdog has issued a statement after a woman died while in custody in North Wales. North Wales Police last week referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, following the woman’s death in Caernarfon on Friday, May 24.

She was said to have fallen ill and died in the evening. An IOPC spokesperson said: "We have begun an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a woman in custody at Caernarfon police station on Friday (24 May).

“We understand that the woman aged in her 40s had been held in custody since Thursday afternoon and became unwell Friday morning. She was sadly pronounced dead at around 5.20pm.

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“We were notified by North Wales Police a short time later and declared an independent investigation. Our investigators attended custody and the police post incident procedures to begin gathering evidence.”

On Saturday, Deputy chief constable Nigel Harrison, of North Wales Police, said: "We can confirm that a woman in her 40s sadly died while in custody at Caernarfon on Friday, May 24th. The woman, who had been held in custody since Thursday afternoon, became unwell and sadly passed away just before 5.30pm.

"As required in these circumstances, we have made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) who are now independently investigating. Our thoughts remain with her family, who are being supported by specialist officers, and all those affected.

“We are unable to comment further at this time while the independent IOPC investigation rightly takes place.”

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