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Police custody set for major overhaul

PUBLISHED: 23:42 11 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:51 05 July 2010

IMPROVEMENTS to custody facilities and additional cells at Lowestoft police station look set to be unveiled as part of a major project.

Suffolk's Custody Project has been launched to improve the standard of custody across the county, with the police authority issuing a tender to contractors “for the provision of a building refurbishment” at Lowestoft.

IMPROVEMENTS to custody facilities and additional cells at Lowestoft police station look set to be unveiled as part of a major project.

Suffolk's Custody Project has been launched to improve the standard of custody across the county, with the police authority issuing a tender to contractors “for the provision of a building refurbishment” at Lowestoft.

Linking to the national Safer Detentions initiative, the project aims to make the conditions and facilities in custody better for both detainees and staff.

Chief Supt Carl Puiy, who is leading the project, said: “Nationally, standards have improved through the Safer Detention project and we now need to meet the challenge locally and to raise the standard of care to the level expected.

“We recognise that the high level of contact that police staff and officers have with detainees puts a high level of expectation and pressure on them, but we also have a duty to comply with the law, codes and practices at all levels of the organisation.”

The three main Suffolk stations - Bury, Ipswich and Lowestoft -will be the focus for investment.

“The chief officer team has made this area of work a top priority,” Chief Supt Puiy said.

“We believe getting custody right is an essential element of effective policing.”

The Safer Detention team has carried out a review of custody in Suffolk and they are now in the process of introducing a string of measures to improve the standard of care in custody.

This will include extra money being spent at Lowestoft to improve facilities, which will include additional cells, according to a police spokesman.

“In the long-term Suffolk Constabulary is working towards improving custody facilities through the introduction of Police Investigation Centres (PICs),” Chief Supt Puiy said.

“However, as these will not be ready in the near future we need to take action now to improve the conditions our staff work in and give them the equipment they need to deliver safer detention.

“We need to make sure detainees receive the appropriate level of care so they are fit to be interviewed and we can gain the best quality of evidence, so we can successfully prosecute offenders.”


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