Police custody centres in Glasgow inspected

12 June 2019

Detainees held in Police Scotland’s custody centres across Glasgow are generally treated well by staff who are professional and respectful, states a report published today (Wednesday, June 12).

While progress is being made in this high risk area of policing business, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMICS) in Scotland found that a number of issues previously highlighted remain to be addressed.

HMICS carried out a number of unannounced visits to five custody centres located within Police Scotland’s Greater Glasgow Division to assess the treatment of and conditions for those detained within them. The three primary centres which are open continually are at Aikenhead Road, Govan and London Road while Stewart Street only receives detainees at weekends and the seldom used ancillary unit at Baird Street operates on a contingency basis.

HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland, Mrs Gill Imery, QPM, said: “Progress has been made in implementing previous recommendations, but we continue to identify some of the same issues and areas for improvement which adds weight to our previous findings and reports on these facilities. The condition of the custody estate and its ongoing maintenance remains of significant concern to HMICS and many of our other comments relating to Greater Glasgow are equally applicable to custody centres across Scotland.”

While the large and busy premises at Aikenhead Road and Govan are well maintained, London Road requires investment and Stewart Street does not offer a modern, secure custody environment.

Staff manage the arrival and departure of detainees as safely and securely as possible given the challenges presented by the buildings but local policing officers have raised concerns regarding queuing and processing at all the centres as they believe this impacts on their availability to respond to other incidents in their communities.

Among the five recommendations contained in this report, one asks Police Scotland to consider how it can better manage custody queues. Other recommendations urge the service to ensure that Prisoner Escort Records contain all relevant information about detainees’ time in custody, and that there be a consistent approach across Scotland to risk assessments and care plans. Police Scotland is also asked to visit ancillary centres at least twice a year to review their suitability and ensure supplies are up to date.

HMICS will monitor progress of the recommendations contained within this report.

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