This paper is begins by identifying the figures regarding recent deaths that occurred whilst an individual was in police custody before discussing three specific focal points: treatment of individuals with mental illness, individuals with injuries and the supervision individuals should receive whist in custody. Two case studies have been used to illustrate these points, these being the cases of Mr Sean Rigg and Mr Christopher Alder. It was then discussed the skills that police officers as first responders need and how these skills may have helped save these individuals lives and well as others. A method of appraisal is discussed in an effort to address the failings in the ethics and professionalisms of the police officers concerned with these cases. Finally suggestions for improvement in the future are discussed.