Changes to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 have come into force recently mean that any death whilst in custody comes within the remit of this act. This means that not only the police but any authority, organisation or private firm who have responsibity for people held in custody can be held to account.

It’s an important issue as a recent Independent Police Complaints Commission report identified 333 deaths in police custody between 1998 and 2009. The specifics of these cases I’m not going to get into here but I do want to highlight that, once again, the importance of appropriate management of any situation of potential conflict is so very important. Nobody in these situations wants to get hurt and the police, or any other enforcing authority, must be ever more vigilant in ensuring that they use the correct physical restraint technniques and use appropriate self-defence techniques when needed.

At the risk of sounding like a real bore on the subject it’s all down to practice….practice…practice. The police have some excellent training available to them and I am sure that officers are skilled in restraint techniques and self-defence but unless it is something that is practiced then they are at risk of either getting themselves hurt or hurting others. Getting back into the class room to practice skills on a regular basis should be essential ‘maintence training’ and this applies to anyone who works in industry sectors that deal with the public and are at risk of being in conflict situations.