Tyne & Wear

Northumbria Police custody suites 'need improvements'

Improvements are needed to Northumbria Police custody facilities, government inspectors have said.

Monitors from HM Inspectorate of Prisons and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary made unannounced visits to 13 sites in February.

They praised the overall treatment of detainees, but expressed concern about facilities for the disabled and the cleanliness of some medical facilities.

Chief Constable Sue Sim pledged to act on the report's recommendations.

Worn fixtures

At most of the sites visited, inspectors found there were no adapted cells for detainees with disabilities.

Women were not asked if they wanted to speak to a female officer or if they might be pregnant, and girls aged 16 or under were not allocated a named female officer.

The report said overall health care for detainees was good.

However, none of the clinical rooms inspected met expected standards of infection control, with many being cluttered and having damaged or worn fixtures.

First aid kits were also found to be out of date.

In response, Ms Sim said: "I acknowledge the report and am disappointed by some of the findings.

"I have ensured immediate action has started to implement both the recommendations and advice contained within the report."

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