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Custody inspection for Devon and Cornwall Police

Custody inspection for Devon and Cornwall Police

Published by Emma Carton at 4:07pm 11th September 2019.

A report rates Devon and Cornwall Police on how it looks after suspects in custody.

The watchdog praised the way the most vulnerable are diverted away from the cells.

However inspectors found the force still needs to improve on collecting and handling data.

Assistant Chief Constable Jim Colwell has told Pirate FM there is always more work to be done.

"This is a very positive report and is a reflection of the hard work of our custody staff, supported by partners. 

"Whilst there is always an opportunity for improvement, the report highlights the positive progress Devon and Cornwall Police have made in recent years".

Assitant Chief Constable, Jim Colwell

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A report has rated Devon and Cornwall Police for how it looks after suspects in custody, praising the way the vulnerable are diverted from the cells 

What did the report find?

The custody inspection was carried out by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services.

The report highlighted that: 'The force displayed a particularly strong culture of treating detainees with care and consideration throughout our inspection and detainees' welfare interests were at the forefront throughout'.

 The report highlighted only one cause for concern relating the need for accurate data. The force is already working to improve this and HMICFRS have stated they are confident Devon and Cornwall Police will act appropriately to address this area. 

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons and HM Inspector of Constabulary, Wendy Williams, issued the following statement:

"We found a good strategic focus on diverting people, especially the most vulnerable, away from police custody and those who were detained received good care and were treated well. 

"The force had progressed many of the recommendations made during our last inspection and was open to external scrutiny. 

"We were confident that it would take action to address the cause of concern and areas for improvement highlighted in this report".

You can read the full report here.

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The watchdog's custody inspection found Devon and Cornwall Police needs to improve on the way it collects and handles data

The report comes as Devon and Cornwall Police become the first in the world to fit life-signs monitors in custody.

They allow health professionals to keep an eye on the breathing and heart rates of detainees.

Further investments have been made in a new, state-of-the-art policing hub and custody centre in Exeter.

"Devon and Cornwall Police are proud to be leading the world with some of the safety equipment that we have installed in our custody. 

"Treating those in custody with dignity, care and respect is not only ethical and the right thing to do, but is more likely to influence positive outcomes for victims and witnesses".

Assistant Chief Constable, Jim Colwell

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