HL Deb 10 February 2000 vol 609 cc108-9WA
Baroness Whitaker

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What arrangements are in place for collecting data on mentally ill black or Asian people who have died in police or prison custody; and how many black or Asian people have died in the custody of special hospitals or secure psychiatric units each year over the past 10 years. [HL860]

Lord Bassam of Brighton

Information is collected and held on all people who die in police or prison custody to the extent that it may help in understanding how the death occurred or how future deaths may be prevented in similar circumstances. Clinical records relating to the mental health of such people may not, however, always be available.

I understand that information about the number of black or Asian people dying in special hospitals or secure psychiatric units in England and Wales is not yet available centrally but that work is currently being carried out by the Mental Health Act Commission which will provide information on the ethnicity of patients who have died while detained.