The United Families & Friends Campaign came together in the mid 1990’s when a number of family campaigns such as those of Joy Gardner, Brian Douglas, Ibrahim Sey, Harry Stanley and Roger Sylvester decided to work on a common platform. Many individuals and organisations supported them. Since then many others have joined the national network.
What we believe
• That failure of State officials to ensure the basic right to life is made worse by the failure of the State to prosecute those responsible for custody deaths.
• That failure to prosecute those responsible for deaths in custody sends the message that the State can act with impunity.
What we demand
1. Replacement of the IOPC to ensure open robust transparent and thorough investigations into police deaths in custody by a ‘truly’ independent body from the very outset of the death.
2. Officers and officials directly involved in custody deaths be suspended until investigations are completed.
3. Immediate interviewing of officers and all officials concerned with the death.
4. Officers and officials should never be allowed to ‘collude’ over their evidence and statements of fact.
5. Full disclosure of information to the families.
6. Prosecutions should automatically follow ‘unlawful killing’ verdicts at Inquests and officers responsible for those deaths should face criminal charges, even if retired.
7. Implementation of police body cameras and cameras in all police vehicles.
8. The end of means testing of families for legal aid. There is a lack of funds for family legal representation at Inquests whilst officers and NHS staff get full legal representation from the public purse – this is unbalanced.