Deaths in police custody are at their highest level for five years, it has been revealed.

The figures from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) show that 17 people died in or following detention by the police in 2014-15 – six more than during the previous year.

The last time the figure was higher was in 2010-11 when it stood at 21.

The IPCC also revealed that there were 69 apparent suicides following custody. This is 50% higher than the 46 people in 2010-11.

Failures in the criminal justice system were also highlighted, with victims such as Sean Rigg and Olaseni Lewis dying after being restrained by the police.

Home secretary Theresa May is due to launch a review into police custody deaths.

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