Issue 12 of our newsletter, The Investigator is OUT NOW!

Decorative purposes only

Welcome to issue 12 of The Investigator!

Welcome to issue 12 of The Investigator which focuses on research carried out by the PPO’s Research team. The PPO’s Research team regularly analyses the data gained from our investigations as a means of identifying any themes and thematic learning. You can find our thematic publications on our website here.

Kimberley Bingham

Our thematic publications include Learning Lessons Bulletins which summarise the learning from our investigations for services in remit (such as HMPPS). Each bulletin focuses on a specific theme, such as post-release deaths or COVID-19, to name a couple of recent topics.

In Issue 12 we share our research into fatal incidents within the remand population. Given that in 2022, 35% of all self-inflicted deaths were of prisoners on remand, this is a very important subject. The research identifies some of the learning from our investigations that we hope can help address this worrying statistic.

As well as focusing on remand, this issue of The Investigator also includes an article about our post-release death investigations pilot and the PPO’s year in numbers for 2022. This shows that we started 386 investigations into fatal incidents and completed 2,103 complaints investigations from 1 January to 31 December 2022.

I am pleased to be able to showcase some of our research and hope you find it interesting. I am also excited about future research projects and look forward to sharing further information about them.

Thank you for reading The Investigator, and as always, we welcome your feedback. Click here to download the newsletter as a PDF.

Kimberley Bingham, Acting Prisons and Probation Ombudsman 


2022 in figures

These figures are subject to change as cases are ongoing but were accurate as of 5th January 2023.


Complaints from 1 January – 31 December 2022


Complaints received 2022 - 4421 Compared to 2021 - 4312 (109 more) Complaints accepted 2022 - 2088 Compared to 2021 - 1822 (266 more) Complaints completed 2022 - 2103 Compared to 2021 - 1860 (243 more)

Top 5 complaint categories (% of those received)

Property 26% Staff behaviour 9% Administration 7% Probation 6% Regime 5%


Complaints upheld / partially upheld: 573 (27%)

Fatal incident investigations

Fatal incidents from 1 January – 31 December 2022

Number of investigations started 2022 - 386 investigations Compared to 2021 - 406 (20 fewer) Initial reports issued 2022 - 321 reports issued Compared to 2021 - 380 (59 fewer) Final report issued 2022 - 334 reports issued Compared to 2021 - 326 (8 more)

2021 saw a greater number of deaths in custody than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in more investigations for the PPO.

Investigations started

Type of death Homicide 1% Natural causes 55% Self inflicted 22% Other non-natural 17% Awaiting cause 5%Location of death Other 5% Prison 77% Post-release 18%