Police custody provision in Bromley was generally positive, said Nick
Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, and Dru Sharpling, HM Inspector of
Constabulary, publishing the report of an unannounced inspection.
The inspection was part of a national programme of joint inspections of
police custody. It looked at the custody suite in the centre of Bromley which
operates 24 hours a day. Overall there were some areas of excellent practice,
but some areas which still needed to be addressed.
pleased to find that:
- there was proactive, visible leadership from senior officers in the borough
and the presence of a permanent custody manager and permanent staff supported
- there was strong partnership working and good engagement with the
independent custody visitors scheme;
- detainees were treated well on arrival and in the cells, physical conditions
were good and the suite was well controlled;
- the use of handcuffs and strip-searching was proportionate;
- risk assessment was thorough and care planning was good;
- the virtual court system was being used effectively, but seemed to result in
people being held for longer in police custody, especially when they were
remanded into custody by the court;
- the primary health care service was good, although clinical governance and
audit were not clearly defined; and
- there was good access to the substance misuse service and to mental health
provision, with a promising pilot diversion and liaison scheme.
However, inspectors were concerned to find that:
- refresher training and training for custody assistants were not adequate,
and staff needed training in mental health awareness;
- quality assurance measures lacked focus on the welfare and safety of
- there were some problems with delays in accessing
Nick Hardwick and Dru Sharpling said:
“Overall, the borough’s custody
operation was sound and well organised. Outcomes for detainees were positive
across many aspects of detention. There was room for further improvement,
particularly through a focused and more proactive approach by staff to the
welfare of those detained, as well as attention to staff training and more
thorough quality assurance. This report sets out a small number of
recommendations that we hope will assist the Metropolitan Police Service and the
Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to improve the facilities 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
Read a full copy of the report
- HM Inspectorate of Prisons is an independent inspectorate, inspecting places
of detention to report on conditions and treatment, and promote positive
outcomes for those detained and the public.
- Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) is an independent
inspectorate, inspecting policing in the public interest, and rigorously
examines the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces and authorities to
tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence. HMIC
inspects and regulates all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with
other major policing bodies such as the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the
Police Service of Northern Ireland, the British Transport Police and HMRC.
- This joint inspection was carried out from 8-10 May 2012.
- Please contact Jane Parsons (HMIP Press Office) on 020 7035 2123 or 07880
787452 or Ruth Allman (HMIC Press Office) on 020 3513 0600 if you would like
more information or to request an interview.