Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 14:24 UK

Investigation into custody death

An investigation has been launched into the death of a man who fell ill in a police van.

Gerald Kent, 51, of Chislehurst, Kent, was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and failing to stop, in North Cray, south-east London, on Friday.

He was being taken to Bexleyheath police station when he fell ill, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

When Mr Kent arrived at the station he was struggling for breath.

Medical treatment

Metropolitan Police officers gave first aid and called an ambulance, according to the IPCC.

London Ambulance Service arrived within four minutes and treated Mr Kent at the police station and in the ambulance.

He was taken to Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup where he died.

IPCC Commissioner Mehmuda Mian Pritchard said: "Our investigators went to Bexleyheath immediately in the early hours of Saturday morning to assess how the inquiry should be carried out.

"I have decided this should be investigated using our own staff. I will oversee the investigation and ensure that a full report is sent to HM Coroner."

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