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Tuesday, 29 November, 2022
Home NATIONALAbout 20 custodial deaths take place every year
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Sun, 21 Jun, 2015 12:04:16 AM
1 more youth dies in police custody
FTimes – STT Report, June 21
File Photo Lehtikuva.
One more youth died in police custody at Kuopio early Saturday.
With this, two youths have died in the custody of law enforcers during the Juhannus (Midsummer) vacation since Thursday.
The police said the 20-year-old youth from Kuopio was found dead in a police vehicle on midsummer night. 
According to the Eastern Finland police, the man had been apprehended from Tahkovuori in Middle Finland and was being taken to the Kuopio main police station jail. But he died on way to Kuopio.
Sources said at the end of the transport the man was found unresponsive in the vehicle and after an attempted resuscitation was pronounced dead. 
The Häme police department is investigating the cause of death.
Earlier, a 25-year-old man died in police custody in Jyväskylä on Thursday evening.
The police said the man was arrested because of disruptive behaviour and was intoxicated at the time of his arrest.
According to investigators, the man had earlier confided that he had been treated at a hospital.
However, the police investigated the matter, but according to the sources at the hospital the man was not in need of immediate medical attention.
File Photo Lehtikuva.
The cause of the man’s death has not yet been established.
 The Southwest Finland police are investigating the matter. A forensic examination will also be conducted to establish the cause of the death.
Meanwhile, the Finnish language daily Helsingin Sanomat in a report has quoted Inspector Tarmo Lamminaho of the police administration as saying that about 20 people die every year during police transport or while in jail. 
The most common causes of death are sudden illness, alcohol intoxication and suicide. 
Lamminaho told the newspaper that it’s very rare for the cause of death to be connected to a failure in police procedure.
“In the investigation into the cause of death, if it is apparent from the facts that the death was caused by police activity, the case goes to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for review. In the worst case, it proceeds to the Court of Justice,” Lamminaho told the Helsingin Sanomat.
According to the police administration instructions, detainees in cells must be kept under surveillance. 
The guidelines also state that particular attention should be paid to intoxicated detainees, regardless of the reasons for arrest.
The police have sought the use of cameras when supervising the intoxicated. However, not all jails have camera surveillance, said Lamminaho.
Not all cells have camera surveillance, and monitoring must be done in person, the police officer said.
Health and Welfare Institute Research Professor Marja Holmila told the Helsingin Sanomat that death in police custody could be avoided, if the situation is always evaluated correctly. 
“The most important thing would be to carefully check the detainee’s health situation and to visit the detainee enough for proper monitoring,” Holmila told the Finnish language daily.
According to Lamminaho, deaths in police custody have decreased over the past decades. He thinks the reasons for this are increased surveillance and a reduction in the number of intoxication arrests.
However, jails continue to see a large number of intoxicated people, about 60,000, of which 30,000 are suspected of criminal offences.
“The police have detailed instructions for custody and control of prisoners. It is regrettable, that in spite of those instructions, people still die in jail,” added Lamminaho.
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