SEVEN people died following contact with police in Sussex in the past year.

The statistics come from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Across England and Wales, there were 206 deaths following police contact in 2019-20.

Sussex Police recorded one death in or following custody, three deaths believed to be suicide following release and three other deaths following contact with the force.

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A force spokeswoman said: “It is right the actions of those involved are scrutinised to establish if there were any shortcomings and to identify if there are better ways of doing things to protect the public who come into contact with the police.”

The death in or following custody related to a man seen walking erratically in the middle of a busy dual carriageway. He was handcuffed but these were removed and first aid given when he suffered a medical episode and died in hospital. This was subject to an independent investigation by the IOPC and no misconduct was found.