Police watchdog investigate Sussex Police after woman, 34, collapses and dies while 'interacting' with officers in Brighton (From The Argus)
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Police watchdog investigate Sussex Police after woman, 34, collapses and dies while 'interacting' with officers in Brighton
Sussex Police is being investigated after a woman dog-walker died in hospital days after she collapsed during an “interaction” with up to seven officers.
The 34-year-old died in the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, on Thursday (20) despite police officers’ efforts to resuscitate her following the incident in the street in Brighton on the afternoon of Monday, February 17.
Police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), is now investigating what happened.
Another civilian, a 34-year-old man, was also in the area at the time of the collapse and he has been arrested on suspicion of drugs offences.
The incident took place in the area of Lavender Street and Malthouse Court in Kemp Town.
The woman, who is from Brighton, has not yet been formally identified although her family have been informed of her death. A post-mortem is set to take place tomorrow.
An IPCC statement said they wanted to speak to anyone who witnessed an “interaction between police and a woman with a small dog and a man on a fold-up bicycle to contact them”.
The statement continued: “The woman was white, aged 36, around 5ft 6 inches tall, with dark hair and wearing a large navy jumper.
“The man is white, aged 34, around 6ft tall, of skinny build with shoulder-length blond hair, wearing a light grey hooded top and carrying a backpack.
“According to information from Sussex Police, the incident began at around 4.50 pm in Lavender Street.
“Police state that during the incident the woman collapsed at the scene and officers carried out resuscitation on her before paramedics arrived and she was taken to hospital in a serious condition at around 5.45 pm.
“Following a referral from Sussex Police we have decided to carry out an independent investigation.
“It is understood that two plain-clothed Police Community Support Officers on foot and one police officer in a marked police vehicle were initially involved, and four further officers subsequently attended the incident.”
IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor added today: “We are investigating what contact police had with the woman and man prior to the woman collapsing and being taken to hospital.
“We are gaining initial accounts from the police personnel involved. Investigators are carrying out house-to-house enquiries at the scene and we would really like to hear from any independent witnesses who were in the area on that Monday afternoon and saw what happened.”