IOPC recommendations - man searched in custody - 2016
These recommendations have been made following an independent investigation into contact between Bedfordshire Police and a man who was searched while in custody.
Bedfordshire Police should review available facilities and processes in place at Kempston custody suite to conduct strip searches in, and ensure that processes are in line with requirements under PACE Code of Practice, Code C, Annex A.
Bedfordshire Police should disseminate updated APP guidance to all staff as soon as practicable.
Bedfordshire Police should update training provided to all staff in relation to strip searches and intimate searches, specifically identifying expectations around physical examination of the penis and genitals. APP guidance should be incorporated into the updated training.
Bedfordshire Police should review their system for accessing previous training received by officers in order to understand what training officers have received and the content of that training.
Ahead of the recommendation, Bedfordshire Police Force custody units were subject to a £500,000 re-design and refurbishment project completed within the confines of the estate currently available. While the new work has made the custody suites more HMIC and Home Office compliant, due to the demand placed upon them and the confines of the buildings available to be used. There is no scope to provide separate facility for strip searches to be carried out. In all cases when a strip search is required, the Custody Officer must direct the use of a room which does not contain CCTV. In exceptional circumstances, where it is clear at the point of authorising the search that it cannot be safely managed in one of these rooms, in line with APP, officers may use a cell and the CCTV monitor will be covered. The rationale and the fact the camera has been covered prior to the search will be recorded on the custody record.
Ahead of the recommendation, as part of the on-going collaboration programme between Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police, all current and planned for new staff working within the Custody Arena, are reminded of the guidance provided by the College of Policing’s Approved Professional Practice (APP) along with Code C Annex A. Details of which were updated on 12/04/2016 and more recently repeated on 07/07/2016.
The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Learning and Development Services launched on 1 December 2015 coming into effect mid-year 2016 as part of the resource collaboration program which supports Bedfordshire Police Forces drive to improve local services for the benefit of communities, helping to narrow the funding gap faced by the three forces while continuing to protect frontline policing. In addition to the recent guidance provided to all Custody Staff, as at point two above. The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Learning and Development Services has continuing training events planned throughout 2016/2017 to include new recruits as part of their IPDLP course, the Special Constabulary and new and existing custody staff. Further training inputs is being provided to existing front line response staff by team Inspectors with guidance from the head of custody.
The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Learning and Development Services launched on 1 December 2016 and are working to streamline training programmes while producing a common standard for the recording of all training records, assessments and verifications which will afford full organisation memory