Friday, 20 January 2012

Official launch of UFFC No.10 Petition re: deaths in custody UK

No:10 Petition - 2012
Deaths in police, prison, mental health & immigration detention

The United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC) calls for an independent judicial inquiry into all suspicious deaths in custody.
UFFC is a coalition of families and friends of those that have died in the custody of police and prison officers as well as those who died in psychiatric and immigration detention. It also has members and supporters from campaign groups and advocacy organisations from across the UK.

The Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody report published in 2011 states: in total, there were 5,998 deaths recorded for the 11 years from 2000 to 2010. This is an average of 545 deaths per year. Despite the fact there have been 11 unlawful killing verdicts since 1990 there has never been a successful prosecution.

Our joint efforts have yielded some results. The police self-investigation of deaths was replaced by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman now investigates deaths in prison and immigration detention. The Attorney General was forced to undergo a review of the role of the Crown Prosecution Service, and corporate manslaughter laws are now extended to custody deaths.

However, these reforms have not addressed the lack of justice in outstanding cases. We believe that equitable dispensation justice in the UK must be done and be seen to be done if the general public are to enjoy high levels of trust and confidence in the fair administration of justice.

The poor quality and speed of independent investigations conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and an Inquest process that is seriously under resourced, subject to delay and limited in remit and is not fit for purpose. Both critically fail to protect or support the rights of victims or their families.

Our Demands:

1.  Replacement of the IPCC to ensure open robust transparent and thorough investigations from the very outset of police deaths in custody - with a removal of all ex-police officers for it to be a truly independent body.

2.  The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman should be placed on a statutory footing.

3.  Deaths in psychiatric detention and / or of those detained under the Mental Health Act must be subject to a system of properly funded investigation that is completely independent of the Health Service.

4.  Officers and officials directly involved in custody deaths are suspended until investigations are completed.

5.  Immediate interviewing of officers and all officials concerned with the death.

6.  Officers and officials should never be allowed to collude over their evidence and statements of fact.

7.  Full and prompt disclosure of information to the families affected.

8.  Prosecutions should automatically follow ‘unlawful killing’ verdicts at Inquests and officers responsible for those deaths should face criminal charges, even if retired.

9.  Implementation of police body cameras and cameras in all police vehicles in the interests of both the officers and the public.

10.             There should be an automatic right to non means tested legal aid for families. There is a lack of funds for family legal representation at Inquests whilst officers and NHS staff get full legal representation from the public purse – this is unbalanced.

US civil rights veteran, Rev Jesse Jackson supports the inquiry campaign.

For those wishing to lobby their local MP:

INJUSTICE - watch full documentary now at:
(2001/98 minutes/UK/Dir: Ken Fero & Tariq Mehmood/Migrant Media)

The struggles for justice by the families of people that have died in police custody.

In 1969 David Oluwale became the first black person to die in police custody in Britain. Many others have died since then. None of the police officers involved have been convicted of these deaths. In this documentary, the families of these victims ask "Why not?"

This is a blow by blow account of the relentless struggles of the families as they find out how they lost their loved ones in extremely violent deaths at the hands of police officers.
Each family is met with a wall of official secrecy and the film documents how they unite and challenge this together. The documentary uses powerful exclusive footage filmed over a five year period and witnesses the families pain and anger at the killings. It documents the fight to retrieve the bodies for burial, the mockery of police self-investigation and the collusion of the legal system in the deaths. The film asks why an accused killer in a police uniform is not judged by the same standards as the rest of society.

I N J U S T I C E documents the horrific loss of life at the hands of the state and it's attempts to cover up these killings. The British police have been responsible for hundreds of deaths and have walked free.The families of the dead want justice and they will not stop until they have got it.

Winner Best Documentary - BFM London Film Festival 2002, Winner National Social Justice Award 2003, Winner Best Documentary (Human Rights) - One World Film Festival 2003, Winner New Nation Campaign group of the Year 2004.


Articles re: deaths in custody:

Open letter from UFFC to the Prime Minister re: deaths in state custody:

Christopher Alder: outrage as injustice continues even in death:


Christopher Alder: Justice remains little more than an ideal for some - by Richard Sudan: 


Demetre Fraser: Outrage at new death in police custody: 


Rev Jesse Jackson supports call for public inquiry into deaths in custody UK - videos:

Rev Jessie Jackson calling for total reform on handling of deaths in custody:

Deaths in Police Custody: Stereotyping the victim - article from the Institute of Race Relations:

Deaths in police custody cut deep in the psyche of black Britons:

United Friends and Family:
Annual Deaths in Custody March Attacked by Police.


MPA meeting - Regarding the policing of this years peaceful UFFC march:

UFFC march 2011 (Photos by Dee Constantine-Simms)

Campaign 4 Justice 4 Kingsley Burrell:


Campaign 4 Justice 4 Demetre Fraser aka T.Dot: