Police are being investigated following the death of a suspect in custody

The death of a suspected shoplifter who died of a heart attack while being arrested by police officers is to be investigated.

The un-named 43-year-old man collapsed after being arrested by officers who had been called to the store where security staff had restrained him on Tuesday.

Police watchdogs said that shortly afterwards the man became unwell and efforts were made to revive him outside the Sainsbury’s store in Spalding, Lincs.

A team of investigators from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) have visited the scene of the tragedy.

The man had been held by security staff at the store for shoplifting.

Police arrived shortly after 1.45pm and arrested the man.

He then became ill and was given first aid by officers and staff at Sainsbury’s.

The man was airlifted to Lincoln County Hospital where he later died on Tuesday night.

The IOPC routinely investigates cases where a person has died or been seriously injured after having contact with police officers.

In a statement, an IOPC spokesman said: “We have begun an independent investigation into police contact with a man detained at a supermarket in Spalding who later died in hospital.

“Staff at the Sainsbury’s store in Spalding notified police that a man was being held there on suspicion of theft at about 1.45pm on Tuesday, January 8.

“We understand that when two police officers arrived, they arrested a 43-year-old man who was being restrained by staff at the store.

“It soon became apparent that the man was unwell and an ambulance was called while officers and staff commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

“The man was then taken by air ambulance to Lincoln County Hospital but sadly died there at around 9.45pm that evening.

“After being informed by Lincolnshire Police, we sent investigators to the scene who carried out post- incident procedures to begin our enquiries.”

by Isabella Nikolic

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