About 600 people die in custody every year in England and Wales, a statistic that the government seems remarkably complacent about.
This much is clear from its response to the coroners’ recommendations following two of these deaths.
Adam Rickwood, 14, and Gareth Myatt, 15, both died in secure training centres in a way that raised awkward questions about the use of physical restraint. Meanwhile, the Forum for Preventing Deaths in Custody, set up 18 months ago, has complained that it has too little power to do what it says on the tin.
Yet, as the reply to the coroners shows, the government’s response to its own review of the forum’s powers is not expected until June, four years after the deaths of Rickwood and Myatt. It had better be worth waiting for.
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