VIDEO: What inspectors made of police cells after surprise visit to Thorpe Wood in Peterborough

0
Have your say

Police cells in Peterborough have been given the clean bill of health following an inspection.

The unannounced inspection looked at the force’s main custody suites at Thorpe Wood in Peterborough and other police stations in Cambridgeshire.

The custody suite at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough

The custody suite at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough


While they still have concerns around the collaborative arrangements for custody services not providing sufficient accountability at senior officer level, they were reassured that the use of force in custody was proportionate - highlighting the processes as an example of good practice.


Assistant Chief Constable Dan Vajzovic said: “Overall the inspection carried out by HMIP and HMICFRS into Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s custody suites has been positive.

"We welcome their recognition that we have good levels of care and concern for the most vulnerable people we deal with and that, through effective partnership engagement, we have a strong focus on protecting and diverting vulnerable people from custody.


“We have worked hard since the last inspection in 2011 to focus our efforts on reducing the amount of time children spend in police cells and protecting those with mental health problems.

The custody suite at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough

The custody suite at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough

"As a result of our work with the liaison and diversion service, and the mental health staff in our control room supporting frontline officers, we have reduced the number of people held in custody under section 136 of the Mental Health Act as a place of safety.”

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, and HM Inspector of Constabulary, Dru Sharpling, said: “We found that detainees in custody were held in reasonably good physical conditions. It was clear that the staff culture remained healthy and we were generally impressed with the care and attention that staff showed towards detainees.”

Overall, Peter Clarke and Dru Sharpling, said: “We found many positive features in the way that custody services operated, delivering good frontline outcomes for detainees in a number of key areas.

"However, at a strategic level we had concerns that the weaknesses identified in our 2011 inspection remained, and that, in practice, the collaborative arrangements for custody services did not provide sufficient accountability at senior officer level in Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

The custody suite at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough

The custody suite at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough

"Until this is addressed, we believe that this will remain a block to the custodial function in Cambridgeshire becoming even better."