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BREAKING: Woman, 43, dies in Kent Police custody cell

Thursday 29th July 2021

THE death of a woman in a Kent Police custody suite at the weekend is being investigated, it has emerged this afternoon.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the 43-year-old woman died at Tonbridge, Kent.
The IOPC said: "We have established the woman was arrested in Tunbridge Wells by Kent Police officers shortly before 8pm on Friday, 23 July and taken to custody at Tonbridge Police Station.
"At around 1pm on Saturday (July 24), the woman appeared to be having trouble breathing and was found unresponsive in her cell. Paramedics were called and despite efforts to save her, she was sadly pronounced dead at the scene."
Kent Police referred the matter to the IOPC, which sent investigators to gather initial accounts and inspect to the custody suite. 
IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said: "My thoughts are with the woman’s next of kin and all those affected by her death. We have made contact with her next of kin and explained our role to them.
“It is important we fulfil our role to carry out an independent investigation into all the circumstances surrounding her contact with the police. We will examine all the actions and decisions of officers and staff involved in her detention including viewing custody records and CCTV as well as the welfare checks that were made on her during that period.
”Our investigation is in its very early stages.”
HM Coroner has been informed and a post-mortem examination took place on Sunday (July 25) the outcome of which was inconclusive pending further tests. A date has yet to be fixed for the opening of an inquest.