Search

‘Good overall’ care, but too-long stays, poor disability provision and no toilet paper, for people in custody at Romford

11:16 09 January 2014

Romford Police Station

Romford Police Station

Archant

People in custody at Romford Police Station are well cared for, a report found this week – but provision is poor for people with disabilities, people are being kept in for too long, and detainees are not routinely provided with toilet paper.

The report, which follows an unannounced inspection by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, concluded the standard of police custody in Havering was “good overall”, with clean cells, “reasonable” staffing levels and appropriate use of handcuffs and strip searches.

But it found delays in getting assessments of people’s mental health, a “culture of keeping detainees in custody overnight, rather than pursuing their cases” and poor provision for people with disabilities.

In particular, the Main Road station has no cells, showers or toilets adapted for disabled people, and no hearing loop fitted.

Staff also had no easy way of identifying the direction of Mecca for Muslim detainees, but there were prayer mats and holy books available for both Christians and Muslims.

And a new staffing model meant “team spirit” had been lost among workers.

More than 5,000 people, among them suspected criminals and a handful of people detained under the Mental Health Act for their own safety, were detained at Romford Police Station in 2012/13. 11 per cent of them – 589 people – were strip-searched.

People were rarely brought into the cells in handcuffs, while those who were received checks for injuries. But there was no system for recording and monitoring the use of force.

In a joint statement, chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick and HM Inspector of Constabulary Dru Sharpling said: “Overall, custody provision in Havering was good, with evidence of consideration and care being given to detainees.

“However, some detainees stayed in custody for too long and the new staffing model had resulted in any sense of a ‘team spirit’ being lost.

“The lack of nurses and the reliance on an overstretched FME [forensic medical examiners] service was of concern, and mental health services needed developing.

“This report provides a small number of recommendations to assist the force and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to improve provision 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.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

The Robert Beard Centre in the 1970s.

Memories will be shared by past and present members of a youth centre when it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Colonel Markham Bryant, Havering Deputy Lieutenant, outside Buckingham Palace with his MBE for services to the army cadet force.

Haverying’s Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Markham Bryant received the award from Prince William at Buckingham Palace, on Tuesday.

Yesterday, 17:51
A crowded 8.17am train from Upminster to Fenchurch Street

Furious commuters have taken a stand against proposed train timetable changes that will see their journeys become longer but their chances of getting a seat slashed.

Yesterday, 12:00
Jean Challis, age79 from Elm Park, was named as the Romford Carnival Queen 50 years ago this year.

A pensioner who was given the royal treatment when she was crowned Romford Carnival Queen almost half a century on, has taken a trip down memory lane.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder

Among the charitable causes the prince hopes to champion are wildlife conservation and justice for injured service personnel.

Although Farage may not have mentioned the fascist pre-conference entertainment, his speech showed he’s very aware of his party’s image.

Leonard Nimoy is currently dominating six of the top trend slots on Twitter. His fans, friends and co-stars should be proud.