‘A considerable disappointment’ - Newham police custody provision blasted by government report

08:28 30 April 2014

A government report described the quality of police custody in Newham as among the worst in London

A government report described the quality of police custody in Newham as among the worst in London

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Police custody care in Newham is “a considerable disappointment” and among the worst in London, according to a recently-published government report.

Inspectors visited a suite of 15 cells at Forest Gate police station last December as part of a London-wide inspection of the Met Police’s custody provision.

Published jointly by HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Thomas P Winsor and Martin Lomas, HM Deputy Chief Inspector of Prisons, the pair wrote: “Our findings were a considerable disappointment.

“We found some of the worst conditions that we have seen anywhere in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

“There was a lack of strategic oversight and detainees were provided with poor care or in some cases were neglected.”

Inspectors found the suite “chaotic” while the cells were “dirty and not always checked everyday”, also lacked basic items such as replacement clothing and interview tapes.

Detainees often had to wait more than two hours to be seen by a forensic medical examiner and there was no specific liaison to assist those with mental health issues.

Mr Lomas and Dru Sharpling, Inspector of Constabulary, have urged the borough to implement measures swiftly, in light off the report.

They said: “Given the poor outcomes for detainees we would urge both the borough and the MPS territorial policing criminal justice directorate to take urgent action to improve custody facilities at Newham.”

However, there were some positives to take as inspectors were pleased to find substance misuse services were reasonable and custody was not used as a place of safety under the Mental Health Act.

A spokesperson for the MPS said: “Following the HMIC/P Inspection of Newham custody suite in December 2013, an immediate improvement plan was put into place and specialist teams within the MPS have assisted the borough leadership team to address the areas of concern and recommendations made.

“A further review of custody procedures in Newham was completed by the Met Detention Inspection and Review Team in March 2014 which concluded that significant improvements have been made in relation to the issues identified in the HMIC/P report.

“Newham borough is confident that the improved level of service will be maintained.”

Read more

Stratford police station saved from closure
‘We need to encourage diversity in the police’

Related articles

Latest Newham News Stories

42 minutes ago

Officials have claimed “robust” policing, fan segregation and an increase in stewards will make tomorrow night’s match between Chelsea and West Ham “categorically” safe.


Newham Council has been lauded by a politician for being the toughest prosecutor when it comes to tackling dodgy landlords.

Sadiq Khan
9 minutes ago

Sir Robin Wales and MP Lyn Brown joined Met officers at a service to remember fallen police constable Nina Mackay.

Lyn Brown
Yesterday, 16:11

A man in his thirties has been seriously hurt and rushed to hospital by paramedics after being hit by a car.

London Ambulance Service

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Read more

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now