A WOMAN who died while being held in custody at Caernarfon Police Station last month has been identified.

Helen Williams, 43, died on Friday, May 24, having been held in custody since the previous day.

She was arrested by North Wales Police outside a property in Bangor on the morning of May 23 for a recall to prison.


Police statement after woman dies in custody at Caernarfon

‘Independent investigation’ begins into custody death in Caernarfon

Ms Williams was taken to Caernarfon Police Station, where custody was authorised at about 12pm, and remained there while awaiting an appearance in court.

While in custody, Ms Williams was placed on regular observations by staff, and was seen by healthcare professionals.

At about 4.30pm on May 24, she was found to have had a medical episode and despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation attempts, and the attendance of paramedics and an air ambulance, she was pronounced dead at approximately 5.20pm.

After being notified by North Wales Police, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) sent investigators to the police station and to the post-incident procedures to begin enquiries.

Its investigation is looking at the level of care provided to Ms Williams during the course of her detention, including the decisions and actions of police officers and staff, and whether they acted in accordance with policies and procedures.

The IOPC is obtaining accounts from officers and staff involved as part of its enquiries.

It is also reviewing closed circuit television footage from the custody suite and body-worn videos from the officers who arrested Ms Williams.  

A post-mortem examination has taken place and further tests are being carried out, while the coroner has also been informed.

IOPC director, David Ford, said: “My sympathies are with Ms Williams’ family and friends and all of those affected by her death.

“It is important that an independent investigation is carried out to fully establish the circumstances when someone has died in police custody.

“We have spoken to the family to express our condolences and explain our role.

“We will be keeping them updated throughout our investigation, along with the police force and coroner.”