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Devon and Cornwall Police Custody Report

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In May 2019, Devon and Cornwall Police were inspected by HMICFRS (Her Majesty`s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services).

This was a comprehensive and rigorous two-week multi-agency inspection across every facet of custody.  

The report highlighted that ‘The force displayed a particularly strong culture of treating detainees with care and consideration throughout our inspection and detainees’ welfare interests were at the forefront throughout.’

The report highlighted only one cause for concern relating the need for accurate data. The force is already working to improve this and HMICFRS have stated they are confident Devon and Cornwall Police will act appropriately to address this area.

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons and HM Inspector of Constabulary, Wendy Williams, said; “We found a good strategic focus on diverting people, especially the most vulnerable, away from police custody and those who were detained received good care and were treated well. The force had progressed many of the recommendations made during our last inspection and was open to external scrutiny. We were confident that it would take action to address the cause of concern and areas for improvement highlighted in this report.”

Assistant Chief Constable Jim Colwell, said; “This is a very positive report and is a reflection of the hard work of our custody staff, supported by partners. Whilst there is always an opportunity for improvement, the report highlights the positive progress Devon and Cornwall Police have made in recent years.”

Devon and Cornwall Police have installed OxeHealth life-signs monitors in custody. These monitors allow health care professionals to monitor the breathing rate and heart rate of detainees in custody. This is a first for any police force in the world. Further investments have been made in a new, state-of-the-art policing hub and custody centre in Exeter.

Assistant Chief Constable Colwell, said; “Devon and Cornwall Police are proud to be leading the world with some of the safety equipment that we have installed in our custody. Treating those in custody with dignity, care and respect is not only ethical and the right thing to do, but is more likely to influence positive outcomes for victims and witnesses.”


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