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wstryder via Creative Commons
UK

Man dies following police pepper spray use in England

An investigation has been launched into the second death in police custody in England in the course of a week.

THE INDEPENDENT Police Complaints Commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 25-year-old man while in police custody in England yesterday evening.

The IPCC monitors serious complaints and allegations of misconduct against English and Welsh police.

The man was arrested by Widnes police for an alleged affray yesterday and officers used pepper spray while restraining him during the arrest.

The man was then taken to the police station, where he became ill shortly after his arrival. He was taken to hospital by ambulance, but was pronounced dead shortly after 7pm.

A post-mortem is due to be carried out on the man’s remains today. The IPCC said in a statement that its officers began their investigating this morning.

Last week, a man died after police in Barrow, England, used a Taser while arresting him. The man, 27, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and the device was used during attempts to restrain and arrest him. He became unwell after the arrest and was taken to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

According to IPCC figures, 21 people have died during or following police custody in England and Wales between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011. Last year the organisation said that while 333 people died in English or Welsh custody over the preceding 11 years, no officer has been ever successfully prosecuted in connection with the deaths.

Read: Man dies in England after being shot with a Taser by police >

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