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The Number of People That Have Self Harmed in Police Custody

Question

I would like to know the numbers of people that have 'Self harmed' or suffered "non-accidental injury" while in Police custody.

Specifically I would like this information for the last 5 years broken down by Gender and Age group.

< 16

16 - 20

21-24

25-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60+

Answer

Please see the table below for the number of incidents recorded in custody.

We have recorded 32 self-harm incidents in custody in the last five financial years (1st April 2011 – 31st March 2016). Please note that one individual may have been arrested and detained in custody on more than one occasion.

In relation to recording self-harm please note that this can include a physical injury, however, is often reported as a ‘near miss’ incident as there is a timely intervention by custody staff to prevent any attempted self-harm from occurring and therefore minimising any consequential injuries. 

This will include occasions where the detainee has indicated during the booking in process at custody that they had previously taken drugs or had sustained injuries prior to arrest and transportation to custody.

Although we would record the ages and genders of all detainees, this information was obtained from central records where this detail was not required. We are therefore only able to provide the age and gender where the central list has been linked to the custody system where this detail can readily be retrieved.

Of the 32 self-harm incidents, the ages and genders can be provided for 18 incidents. Please find the breakdown below: 

Age

Count

< 16

1

16 - 20

3

21 - 24

0

25 - 29

4

30 - 39

5

40 - 49

4

50 - 59

1

60+

0

 

Gender

Count

Male

17

Female

1

FOI reference: 1075/16.

Date of request: 23.08.16.