Independent police review launches, following death of Sean Rigg
A review of cases where people with mental health problems have died while in contact with police has launched, following the death of musician Sean Rigg.
The independent review, commissioned by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), will examine cases from the past five years and includes people who were also seriously injured.
Earlier this year an inquest jury found police used an "unsuitable" amount of force when arresting Sean Rigg in Weir Road, Balham.
Mr Rigg, who suffered from schizophrenia and was physically fit, died of a cardiac arrest while in the custody suite of Brixton Police Station.
After the inquest his family called for a review into deaths in police custody of people who have mental health conditions.
A report by police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said: "Sean Rigg's death is a symptom of a deeper problem - the linkage between mental illness and deaths in or following police custody."
An original IPCC investigation, which was heavily criticised by the Rigg family, is also set to commission an external review into that case.
Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of social enterprise Turning Point, is leading the wider review alongside experts and the Association of Chief Police Officers lead for mental health.
It will examine all aspects of police interaction, including call handling, custody procedures and work with partner agencies.
Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "A number of cases have highlighted concerns with how police respond to people with mental health conditions.
"I want to know that we are doing everything we can to get this right. This is not a matter for the police alone and the roles of partner agencies will be explored by the commission.
"I am writing to a number of families about this independent review. I am very grateful to those families who choose to take part."
Lord Victor Adebowale said:"What is important is to get to the truth of the matter and remove any excuses for not taking the chance to improve practice."
The results of the review are expected to be presented to the MPS in February next year.