An independent investigation has been launched after a 48-year-old man who had been arrested in St Albans died in custody while at Stevenage Police Station.

Luigi Basile, from the village of Sandridge, was arrested on Thursday afternoon on suspicion of breaking a criminal behaviour order and was taken to Stevenage in a police van.

Upon arrival at the station in Lytton Way, the man had become unwell so the ambulance service was called.

Despite the best efforts of officers and paramedics who carried out CPR, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A spokeswoman for Herts police said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary has contacted the Independent Police Complaints Commission following the death of a 48-year-old man from Sandridge on Thursday, September 14, after he was taken ill while under arrest.

“The IPCC was informed of the incident, which is normal procedure when a person dies who has been in recent contact with the police.

“Our thoughts are with the man’s family at this sad time and we will do all we can to assist with the independent IPCC investigation to establish the exact circumstances surrounding his death.

“At this stage it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

An IPCC spokesman said investigators had been deployed to the scene after being contacted by the Hertfordshire force and attended “post-incident procedure”. They are now identifying CCTV evidence and witnesses.

IPCC commission delegate Colin Dewar said: “This is a tragic incident in which a man in police custody has died. My thoughts go out to Mr Basile’s family and friends and all involved in this terrible incident.”