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PCC welcomes custody inspection report

Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Lorne Green, has welcomed the findings of an inspection of police custody provision in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Inspectors found strong governance arrangements, streamlined custody provision and highlighted a genuine emphasis and understanding around protecting vulnerable people and diverting them from custody.

Cause for concern was identified in two areas, firstly around the governance and oversight of use of force in custody and secondly around the compliance, in some areas, with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) legislation and codes of practice.

Commenting on the report, PCC Lorne Green, said: “Police forces have a responsibility for the safe detention and respectful treatment of those detained in police custody.

“It is good to see strong overall governance and clear, joint accountability highlighted and I am pleased to see that emphasis and understanding around protecting vulnerable people and diverting them from custody was praised.

“I am also pleased to see inspectors recognise that the forces are open to external scrutiny, with effective Independent Custody Visiting schemes operating in both counties.

“However, there are clearly a number of key areas where action is required and lessons need to be learned. It is obviously important that all custody procedures comply with legislation and guidance and that data is reliable and oversight is strong when it comes to use of force. It is reassuring to read that the inspectors’ believe the Forces’ leadership arrangements will enable them to address these areas of concern.

“As PCC, I will be seeking reassurance on behalf of the people of Norfolk that an action plan is put in place and implemented. I will be asking the Chief Constable to update me at a public Police Accountability Forum (PAF).

Inspectors from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) visited Norfolk and Suffolk unannounced in May this year.

To read the full report, visit the HMICFRS website.