Commissioner comments on HMICFRS Custody Report
On Tuesday 6th March 2018 HMICFRS and HMI Prisons published their joint inspection into custody provision in Humberside Police.
The full report can be read HERE
Following publication, Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter issued this statement:
"I welcome the report published today following an unannounced inspection visit to police custody suites in Humberside carried out in October 2017.
"The obligation to ensure people in custody are safe and treated with care and respect is paramount, especially so for the more vulnerable in our society. This is a complex and emotive area of policing, and systems must be in place to not just support people in custody, but also the dedicated staff working extremely hard to provide this service. This hard work by staff and officers in the custody suites has not gone unnoticed.
"The report show that the processes in place have not been as resilient or effective as the public have a right to expect. This is something that the new leadership team are grappling with. The theme running through this and previous inspection reports is that more fundamental issues have been at the core of the problems highlighted, which stems from poor strategic planning and implementation in the past.
"The Chief Constable has kept me informed of his comprehensive plans to address not just the issues within this report, but also the wider more embedded issues. I am content with his plans and that it will be prioritised against the activity required. I will be receiving regular reports from the Chief Constable on progress and I am persuaded the force is now properly addressing the concerns, that some improvements have already been made and that a significantly better custody service is being developed day by day as the Force increases its staffing capacity.
"In relation to one area of concern identified in the report around arrangements for obtaining appropriate adults in custody for vulnerable adults, I have been working with Hull University to develop an appropriate adult scheme for vulnerable adults. Prior to this inspection I was already researching the level of provision of appropriate adults as it was inadequate, with some gaps in local authority involvement and inadequate national legislation.
"I am currently progressing the scheme with Hull University, students will be trained in the coming months in the national standards and will work towards full accreditation. Initially, the scheme will service the Clough Road custody facility in Hull, but I am in discussions with the University with a view to expand this service to Northern Lincolnshire.
"The report also identified concerns around appropriate adults for children. This service is provided by youth offending teams locally and there is Home Office Legislation in place for children. Appropriate adults should always be present during the strip searching of a child, and I will be asking the force why this has not always been the case. I can assure the public that I will be looking into the levels of provision for children, and this inspection report adds real weight to the need for a review of the service for them.
"My office manages the Independent Custody Visitor scheme in this area and recently this was expanded to provide extra Custody Visitors who are doing excellent work to improve our inspections of custody suites and checking on the welfare of those detained by Humberside Police."
You can find more information on our Independent Custody Visiting scheme HERE
Posted on Tuesday 6th March 2018