Police data accuracy 'cause for concern' says report, which praises force's approach to detainees
PUBLISHED: 12:05 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:18 12 September 2019
Police must ensure their data is accurate, according to an otherwise positive report on Devon custody facilities and practices.
Devon and Cornwall Police, which has become the first force in the world to introduce life-signs monitors in its custody facilities, was subject to a two-week multi-agency inspection in May 2019.
A report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services said the force displayed a 'particularly strong' culture of treating detainees with care and consideration.
It also found detainees' welfare interests were at the forefront throughout'.
However, a cause for concern was highlighted relating to the need for accurate data.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said the force is already working to improve this.
Wendy Williams, HM Inspector of Constabulary, 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, added: "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 has installed OxyHealth 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 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."