Beds, Herts & Bucks

Arrested man dies in police cell in Luton

Istiak Yusuf Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Istiak Yusuf was arrested in Luton on Saturday morning and later died in police custody

An investigation is under way after a 25-year-old man died in police custody in Luton.

Istiak Yusuf was arrested at the Purley Centre in the town at about 08:45 BST on Saturday.

Bedfordshire Police said Mr Yusuf later became unresponsive in his cell and died.

The force believes his death is not connected to any police action but the family is said to be "extremely distressed and concerned".

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation team will look into the circumstances of Mr Yusuf's death.

Image copyright JOHN O REILLY
Image caption Mr Yusuf died at Luton police station after becoming 'unresponsive' in his cell

In a statement, Bedfordshire Police said the man had been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.

Deputy Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: "Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time and we will do all we can to co-operate with the investigation and help provide the family, the coroner and the IPCC with accurate information about how and why he tragically died.

"Without prejudice to the ongoing investigation, from what we know at this time there is nothing to suggest this tragic death was caused by any police action, but we are keeping an open mind and we are determined that a full and transparent investigation is conducted so that the causes of this sad loss can be established for the family."

Image caption Leon Briggs died in hospital after becoming ill at Luton police station in 2013

Mr Yusuf's death follows that of father-of-two Leon Briggs, 39, who had been detained at the station under the Mental Health Act in November 2013.

Five officers were suspended and the case referred to the IPCC, its report has yet to be published.


Deaths in custody

  • 7,630 deaths recorded in total for the 14 years from 2000 to 2013, an average of 545 deaths each year
  • Deaths in prisons and those of patients detained under the Mental Health Act account for nearly 90% of all deaths in custody
  • In 2013/2014 there were 11 deaths in or following police custody, 68 apparent suicides following police custody and 39 other deaths following police contact

Source: Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody and the IPCC


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