POLICE custody staff in Cheshire have been praised as “positive and professional”.
The findings were announced in a report after an unannounced inspection, which looked at three 24-hour custody suites in Cheshire including Blacon Police Station, part of a national programme into police custody standards carried out by the police and prison services.
The inspectors, Nick Hardwick, chief inspector of prisons, and Dru Sharpling, inspector of constabulary, said custody staff in Cheshire dealt with detainees positively and professionally.
The report said custody staff, generally, had a good approach and some improvements were identified but staff were engaged and detainee welfare was prioritised.
The inspectors were particularly happy with the way young people were treated, the high quality of the facilities, which were among the best they had ever seen, and that staff required little direction and often anticipated and responded to custody demands.
But they felt the stations needed to improve some of their practices as some remained overly risk averse, such as presenting some detainees in rip-proof clothing when they appeared in front of the video-link to court, and arrangements for shift handovers were weak.
In a statement Mr Hardwick and Mr Sharpling said: “Overall, Cheshire provides a good quality custody service in very good purpose-built facilities. This report provides a number of recommendations to assist the force and the police and crime commissioner to improve policing further. We expect our findings to be considered in the wider context of priorities and resourcing, and for an action plan to be provided in due course.”