There are a number of homeless street drinkers, mainly of Lithuanian origin, who congregate around Emmanuel Parish Church in Forest Gate and who have received support in the past from the church congregation. As yet, I don't know whether one of them is the person who collapsed in police custody at Forest Gate police station yesterday and subsequently died - but this is the press release from the Independent Police Complaints Commission:
The IPCC is independently investigating the death of a man, who was found collapsed in police custody on Thursday 2 September 2010.
The man, who is believed to be a 36-year-old Lithuanian man of no fixed abode, was arrested at 12.50pm on Wednesday 1 September 2010 on suspicion of begging. He was taken to Forest Gate Police Station and was booked into custody at 1.15pm.
The man was found collapsed in his cell at approximately 8am the next morning, Thursday 2 September and taken to Newham General Hospital. The case was referred to the IPCC and an independent investigation began. IPCC investigators went to the police station yesterday and began enquiries: gathering accounts from police officers and custody staff, checking custody records and other police logs and obtaining CCTV.
The man was transferred to Royal London Hospital where he sadly died at approximately 8.15pm last night.
IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: “This investigation will focus on the care this man received while in police custody, to see if anything could have been done differently to prevent his death.”
Formal identification has not yet taken place and enquiries are ongoing to trace the man’s next of kin. A post mortem will take place in due course.