OVER the past two years 32 people have died during or following police contact in West Yorkshire, official figures have revealed.

The statistics, released by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, showed in the 2018/19 financial year there were 16 deaths and the same number of deaths in the previous year.

This contrasts the national figure, which has dropped from 283 deaths to 276 in the past two years.

Of the deaths in West Yorkshire last year, five were in road traffic collisions, including the four young men killed in a crash in Toller Lane, Heaton, in August 2018.

This was up from three deaths in the previous year.

There have been no fatal shootings in West Yorkshire in the past two years, and only seven nationally.

Two people died in or following police custody, one each year, and four were apparent suicides in police custody, two in each year.

In 2017/18, there were ten “other deaths following police contact”, which dropped to eight in 2018/19.

This figure only includes deaths investigated by the IOPC, including call outs to suicides, missing people, health related, domestic incidents, and deaths during the execution of a search.

Of the 63 apparent suicides in custody nationally, a third of those who died were people arrested on suspicion of sexual offences.

Deaths from road traffic collisions include motorists, pedestrians or cyclists deaths arising from police pursuits, vehicles responding to emergency calls and other police activity.

Nationally, the Metropolitan Police had the highest number of deaths, with 27, followed by Greater Manchester (19), West Midlands (18) and South Yorkshire (17).

Elsewhere in the region, there were four deaths in North Yorkshire, three in Humberside and three in Cleveland.