The Victorian Ombudsman's Investigation Into Deaths and Harm In Custody report comes a week after a coroner handed down her findings about a man who died in 2009 while in custody in an Echuca police cell.RENEE THOMPSON March 28, 2014 4:23am
A Victorian Ombudsman report about deaths and self-harm in custody has been released a week to the day after a coroner released her findings about the 2009 police cell death of Stephen Niit.
On Tuesday, Victorian Ombudsman George Brouwer released the Investigation Into Deaths and Harm In Custody report, which looked at the number of deaths and incidences of self-harm in Victorian custodial facilities from 2008-13.
Four out of six Victoria Police cell deaths between 2008 and 2013 occurred in 2009-10, according to the report.
One of the deaths was paramedic Stephen Niit, who died on December 22, 2009, after hanging himself in an Echuca police cell while in custody for being intoxicated.
Victorian Coroner Jacinta Heffey handed down her findings into Mr Niit’s death to the Melbourne Coroner’s Court on March 18.
On March 19, the Riverine Herald reported that Ms Heffey found inadequate police resourcing, miscommunication, relaxing of police guidelines for keeping a person in custody and only a basic understanding of mental health arrest laws contributed to Mr Niit’s death.
Some of the concerns raised by Ms Heffey regarding keeping drug or alcohol-affected mental health patients in custody were mirrored in Mr Brouwer’s report, particularly a concern with an increase in the number of vulnerable detainees in custody.
‘‘Many people in custody are vulnerable, often with complex social, legal and medical histories, including mental health, drug and alcohol problems,’’ the report said.
Among the ombudsman’s recommendations to Victoria Police was to review the provision of service for both general medical services and mental health services provided to detainees in regional police cells.
Echuca Senior Sergeant Mick Carroll did not comment on the more recent ombudsman report but said police were reviewing the coroner's findings.
‘‘Victoria Police has received the coroner’s report and will now take time to review its findings,’’ he said.
At the information day about the possibility of a drug and alcohol addiction recovery centre being established near Numurkah, News journalist Elaine Cooney met an inspirational Wunghnu woman who pulled herself from the depths of an ice addiction to become a better mother to her children
At the presentations located at the half-way mark of YMGCR's Lake Course, PGA Legends Co-Ordinator Andy Rogers said, "It's been a great three days.
Tatura’s rainfall for the last three months of 2015, 116.6mm, was marginally down on the long-term average for the same period, 120.8mm.
POLICE are appealing for witnesses following the death of a man skiing in today's Southern 80 race on the Murray River at Moama.
ROCHESTER has welcomed a new family into the community this year.
More of the districts newest preps
No end to V/Line's troubles
The Finley community will always remember the tremendous Trevor Hendy, who was friends with everyone.
TOOLLEEN Recreation Reserve Committee of Management presented three awards on Australia Day in front of 80 local residents.
%Cobram’s new, state-of-the-art library is a step closer to reality, with construction works expected to begin at the Punt Rd site within weeks.
World War II veteran Max Gunn reflects on town's historic recognition.
There’s been a big win for SPC and Australian tomato growers.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.