Investigation launched after man's death in custody

Entrance to police station
Piotr Rak died while in custody at Gablecross Police Station in Swindon [Google Maps]

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has confirmed it is investigating after a man died while in custody.

Piotr Rak, 37, was being held at Gablecross Police Station in Swindon on Saturday night and became unwell on Sunday morning. He was declared dead at about 09:00 BST.

Mr Rak was arrested by Wiltshire Police at about 01:50 BST on Saturday, on Fleet Street in Swindon, on suspicion of being drunk in charge of a vehicle.

"We will be examining police actions in taking Mr Rak into custody and the level of care provided to him over the around 30 hour period he was detained," said IOPC regional director, Derrick Campbell.

Medical episode

Police saw Mr Rak getting into a car and he gave a positive breath test, the IOPC said.

He was placed on regular observations at the police station and shortly after 08:00 on Sunday he suffered a medical episode, said the IOPC.

CPR was administered and an ambulance and air ambulance attended, but medics were unable to save Mr Rak.

"I send my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Rak for their sad loss," Mr Campbell said.

“We are independent of the police and it is important that we carry out an investigation to fully establish the circumstances when someone has died in police custody.”

The IOPC said it will be gathering accounts from officers, as well as viewing CCTV from the custody suite and body worn video from Mr Rak’s arrest.

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