Police often first point of contact for people with mental health issues or addictions

Police custody deaths have hit their highest level in a decade with police, campaigners and experts warning that austerity and a crisis in mental health services have driven the figure up.

A total of 23 people died in or after detention in 2017-18, according to official figures released by the police watchdog, up from 14 people the previous year.

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Read More Police custody deaths hit 10-year high, with experts citing austerity

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