A POLICE watchdog has begun investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a woman in custody in Caernarfon last week.

The woman, in her 40s, died on Friday, May 24, having been held in custody since the previous day.

Following her death, North Wales Police made a “mandatory referral” to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which is now looking into the matter.


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An IOPC spokesperson said:  “We have begun an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a woman in custody at Caernarfon Police Station on Friday.

“We understand that the woman, aged in her 40s, had been held in custody since Thursday afternoon and became unwell Friday morning.

“She was sadly pronounced dead at around 5.20pm. 

“We were notified by North Wales Police a short time later and declared an independent investigation.

“Our investigators attended custody and the police post-incident procedures to begin gathering evidence.”

On May 25, Deputy Chief Constable Nigel Harrison, of North Wales Police, said: “We can confirm that a woman in her 40s sadly died while in custody at Caernarfon on Friday, May 24.

“The woman, who had been held in custody since Thursday afternoon, became unwell and sadly passed away just before 5.30pm.

“As required in these circumstances , we have made a mandatory referral to the IOPC, who are now independently investigating.

“Our thoughts remain with her family, who are being supported by specialist officers, and all those affected.

“We are unable to comment further at this time while the independent IOPC investigation rightly takes place."