Custody units are given good report

First published in Forces focus by

MILITARY custody staff at Bulford have been given a good report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick.

Inspectors visited 15 service custody units across the UK and said they were pleased to find that Bulford was staffed by “dedicated and experienced detention personnel from the Military Provost Staff”.

Mr Hardwick said inspectors felt the armed forces should consider having fewer custody facilities, to be used by all three services and staffed by professional custody personnel.

Among their concerns about military custody generally, they felt there was a danger that those at risk of self-harm, or who had different needs – such as women and under 18s – were not well cared for, and that detainees had been transferred in vehicles with their hands cuffed behind them, which was dangerous.

They also described cells and regimes that were “bleak and spartan”, said that drunks were not always checked sufficiently to ensure they could wake and respond, and that complaints procedures were not adequately confidential.

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