Investigations under way into Gwent Police handling of custody incidents

Investigations by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) are under way into Gwent Police handling of detainees during a number of incidents which occurred in custody suites towards the end of last year.

The five investigations involve incidents in September and November 2015 where people detained in police custody attempted to either self harm using a ligature or to covertly take concealed drugs or medication.

Three of the detained people were subsequently taken to hospital from the custody suites at Ystrad Mynach and Newport, but none were seriously injured. The separate IPCC investigations follow referrals from Gwent Police. None of the detainees concerned have made a complaint.   

The investigations are looking at a variety of factors, including:

  • The adequacy of searches carried out on the individuals taken into custody;
  • The adequacy of  risk assessments conducted, and consideration of warning markers and police intelligence by custody staff;
  • The level of observations and checks the detainees were placed on, taking into account any previous history in custody;
  • Whether decisions and actions taken by officers and custody staff while the detainees were in their care were in accordance with policy and training.

IPCC Commissioner for Wales, Jan Williams, said: “Police have extensive guidelines to follow on custody practice, including around searching and risk assessments. While no complaints have arisen from these incidents and fortunately no-one was seriously injured, it is important that we investigate, to see whether there is any specific learning that could help make custody as safe as possible for both detainees and police staff in Gwent.” 

The IPCC has made a series of recommendations from past investigations across Wales and England which contributed to improved guidance on detention and custody issued by the College of Policing last year.

– See more at: http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/news/investigations-under-way-gwent-police-handling-custody-incidents#sthash.ufdWgLqy.dpuf

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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