Inspection of police custody suites in Essex
I welcome the report of HM Inspectorate of Prisons and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary into police custody suites in Essex.
The report was broadly positive, finding that officers and staff performed their duties professionally and managed risks in an informed fashion. The joint HM Inspectorate also stated that the benefits of a centralised Essex Police custody operation were already being seen.
Some concerns were identified, notably about what the report described as ‘inadequate staffing levels’. I will be discussing this with Essex Police in the coming days, to ensure that I fully understand the staffing levels and the responsibilities of officers and staff working in custody suites.
I will also be examining the issues raised by the report about child safeguarding and providing appropriate adults to support young people in custody out of normal hours.
Essex Police is part way through a process of reviewing the custody suite estate across the county, with some facilities having been recently refurbished. I will be closely involved in that review and will work with the force to ensure that Essex has the right number of custody suites, in the right places, to continue to deliver an efficient and professional custody service.
The report can be read and downloaded here.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex,