Antony Hughes custody death: Merseyside Police 'need training review'

Merseyside Police needs to review its training after a man's drug-related death shortly after his arrest, the police watchdog has said.

Antony Hughes, 27, of Knowsley, died in February 2012.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry found no police misconduct, but said the force's care for people with behavioural problems was "inadequate".

Merseyside Police said it had "taken on board" the IPCC's recommendations.

In a statement it said: "The force is absolutely committed to the highest integrity and professional standards of its officers at all times."

The IPCC concluded officers needed to be "better equipped" to spot the signs of acute behavioural disorder, also known as "excited delirium", as training was currently "inadequate or inefficient".

Cocaine poisoning

It said witnesses described Mr Hughes as foaming at the mouth, shouting, running in and out of traffic and trying to gain access to houses in East Prescot Road, Liverpool before his arrest.

Under police guidelines, his symptoms should have been treated as a medical emergency requiring hospital intervention but officers did not recognise them, the IPCC said.

However, it added that officers used "reasonable" force to restrain him, placed him in the recovery position and summoned medical help in line with police guidelines.

His condition deteriorated and he later died at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was "cocaine toxicity with excited delirium" and an inquest concluded it was a drug-related death.

IPCC commissioner James Dapple-Johnstone said: "Although the way the officers dealt with Mr Hughes turned out to be correct their training did not support them in recognising what they were dealing with and what they should do."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites