Australian aborigines are dying in police custody, many hanging themselves in despair, an official inquiry said on Wednesday.

The five judges who conducted the inquiry into 103 deaths, mostly of prisoners jailed for minor offenses, called for urgent steps to prevent further incidents.Their report recommended abolishing the offense of public drunkenness, creating sobering-up units, using imprisonment only as a last resort and ending solitary confinement.

Twelve aborigines died during the year that the Royal Commission was hearing evidence and reviewing witnesses' testimony.