Police backtrack on custody cases

Salisbury Journal: Patrick Geenty Patrick Geenty

POLICE have backtracked on plans for a temporary custody unit for prisoners in Salisbury, and 100 response officers are to be based in Amesbury while the city’s new police station is built.

Speaking to members of Salisbury Area Board on Thursday, Insp Andrew Noble of Salisbury Police confirmed that suspects arrested in the city will be taken to Melksham during the two years it will take to build the new custody centre once police quit the current station, with “non-police officers” to be given the task of taking them there.

And about 100 response officers serving Salisbury and south and west Wiltshire will be based in Amesbury until work is completed on the new police station at the Five Rivers community campus.

Another 50 officers in neighbourhood and plain-clothes teams will be relocating to the council offices at Bourne Hill in Salisbury.

Insp Noble said police are still committed to building a new custody centre in Salisbury. A site has been identified not far from the current police station and building is due to start in the spring.

The measures backtrack on what was said in August last year, when Wiltshire’s chief constable Patrick Geenty announced that plans to transform the police station into a school had been put back a year to 2015 amid concerns about public safety.

At that time, he said that although there would still be an interim period when custody cases would have to go Melksham, it would only be for about six months rather than up to two years.

And the force could also retain the custody suite at the Wilton Road site until April 2015 to keep the interim period as short as possible. He reassured people that “our commitment to the people of Salisbury will remain the same”.

The hope was that 999 response and neighbourhood policing teams would remain based in the city. Fears had been raised that there would otherwise be delays in response times. And solicitors have aslo expressed concerns about the time taken getting to and from clients.

Salisbury solicitor Nick Redhead said the journey to Melksham was “a nightmare trip” and added that using civilian contractors to ferry prisoners to Melksham could lead to “warehousing” of suspects in a van in Salisbury until there was a full load, which could be contrary to guidelines about getting people into custody as quickly as possible.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “A temporary custody facility proved very expensive and would have taken just as much time to build as a permanent solution.

“Retaining custody at Wilton Road while building work was on-going was also looked at, but it is not a viable option due to the obvious risks associated with this further to a full review by health and safety.

“The most cost effective and practical option is for us to transport prisoners to Melksham until the new police building in Salisbury is open."

Comments (30)

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8:43am Thu 16 Jan 14

Yer Tis says...

What a surprise, so the next step will be the Police being subcontracted to G4S.

In 4 years there will be one complex for the Police and that will be in Melksham, as for local policing I already know of people NOT going and standing at the county council office desks to discussing crimes.

Thanks to McPhearson and Geenty there will be a rise in crime, a reduction in response times, and a reduction in detection.
What a surprise, so the next step will be the Police being subcontracted to G4S. In 4 years there will be one complex for the Police and that will be in Melksham, as for local policing I already know of people NOT going and standing at the county council office desks to discussing crimes. Thanks to McPhearson and Geenty there will be a rise in crime, a reduction in response times, and a reduction in detection. Yer Tis

9:39am Thu 16 Jan 14

journalist1 says...

Two years in Melksham? They get less than that for burglary!
Two years in Melksham? They get less than that for burglary! journalist1

10:19am Thu 16 Jan 14

Grampie says...

A shambles. An absolute shambles. Couldn't organise a drinks party in a brewery, but there again we haven't got a brewery in Salisbury either.
A shambles. An absolute shambles. Couldn't organise a drinks party in a brewery, but there again we haven't got a brewery in Salisbury either. Grampie

10:24am Thu 16 Jan 14

gingin says...

Ever felt lied to?!
Ever felt lied to?! gingin

1:05pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Petera says...

If prisoners are then released, how are they supposed to get back to Salisbury? Also if they are found to have mental or mental problems will they then have to be brought back to Salisbury. Absolutely hopeless and clueless!
If prisoners are then released, how are they supposed to get back to Salisbury? Also if they are found to have mental or mental problems will they then have to be brought back to Salisbury. Absolutely hopeless and clueless! Petera

1:09pm Thu 16 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

Total fiasco from 9 jobs! We are STILL waiting for the costing of the original shambles, now this! Ggrrrr
Total fiasco from 9 jobs! We are STILL waiting for the costing of the original shambles, now this! Ggrrrr karlmarx

5:15pm Thu 16 Jan 14

nesspah says...

I went to Melksham once, it was a long journey.

Wouldn’t there be a secure military place somewhere nearer where they could do a deal to rent space for a while.

I agree it’s a shambles and another reason why that buffoon Macpherson will have to go.

I was nurtured to think the police existed to make us safe in our beds but now …………… could someone please complete that sentence for me.
I went to Melksham once, it was a long journey. Wouldn’t there be a secure military place somewhere nearer where they could do a deal to rent space for a while. I agree it’s a shambles and another reason why that buffoon Macpherson will have to go. I was nurtured to think the police existed to make us safe in our beds but now …………… could someone please complete that sentence for me. nesspah

6:08pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Yer Tis says...

Petera wrote:
If prisoners are then released, how are they supposed to get back to Salisbury? Also if they are found to have mental or mental problems will they then have to be brought back to Salisbury. Absolutely hopeless and clueless!
The Police do have a duty of care, when there is diagnosed vulnerabilities, but as we know, and Wiltshire Police has shown numerous times, they will ignore this.

Please expect to hear of vulnerable people who have been arrested, then let go without charge or further action due to lack of proof, or just the fact the coppers didn't know what to do with them, being left to wander around without the Police giving one ****.

Unfortunately it may well take the death of a vulnerable person on that dangerous road before the IPCC will even look at it!
[quote][p][bold]Petera[/bold] wrote: If prisoners are then released, how are they supposed to get back to Salisbury? Also if they are found to have mental or mental problems will they then have to be brought back to Salisbury. Absolutely hopeless and clueless![/p][/quote]The Police do have a duty of care, when there is diagnosed vulnerabilities, but as we know, and Wiltshire Police has shown numerous times, they will ignore this. Please expect to hear of vulnerable people who have been arrested, then let go without charge or further action due to lack of proof, or just the fact the coppers didn't know what to do with them, being left to wander around without the Police giving one ****. Unfortunately it may well take the death of a vulnerable person on that dangerous road before the IPCC will even look at it! Yer Tis

7:18pm Thu 16 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

gingin wrote:
Ever felt lied to?!
Indeed, let's just remember the councillors and MP who told us everthing was planned and under control. Well, delays and more delays but, still no clue as to the cost. No doubt that will spiral out of control in line with all these delays as well. When the next election campaign starts let's see if any of this is mentioned by the current incumbents who thought this was a good idea.
[quote][p][bold]gingin[/bold] wrote: Ever felt lied to?![/p][/quote]Indeed, let's just remember the councillors and MP who told us everthing was planned and under control. Well, delays and more delays but, still no clue as to the cost. No doubt that will spiral out of control in line with all these delays as well. When the next election campaign starts let's see if any of this is mentioned by the current incumbents who thought this was a good idea. karlmarx

9:16pm Thu 16 Jan 14

vcg507 says...

The below is an email from the Chief Constable, it contains an absolute lie. Read it and make up your own mind!

From: Geenty, Patrick Sent: 01 July 2013 14:45 Subject: Salisbury
NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED/UNCLASSIFIED
Dear
Thank you for your email and your instruction to reply to you in person, which out of courtesy I am doing. I have made it very clear that the force will not be transporting prisoners across the plain or, heaven forbid, Southampton and that we will build a new custody facility in or very near to Salisbury. We will be locating a temporary Home Office approved custody facility very near to Salisbury from April 2014, when the current facility will be closed, and until the new purpose built facility is established. I have commitments from the PCC to provide the money and I would not have agreed to the UTC scheme had that not been the case. I have personally explained the rationale to staff in Salisbury who whilst they do not like the proposal understand my reasons.
I am fully aware of my responsibilities for the safety and wellbeing of staff and the public and nothing I am doing will put that at risk. I have no choice about budget cuts, the money is simply removed by the treasury and unless you want a bankrupt force which doesn‟t pay its staff then these changes have to be made. With regards to your comments about working in the same premises as staff from other agencies and the possible clash of cultures, it is something we are going to have to come to terms with. I know that police staff understand the need to protect front line resources and that getting used to working in a shared environment is something most accept in order to protect the front line. Actual experience of doing this in Monkton Park is that it works and in fact facilitates closer more effective cross agency working.
The numbers of police officers working in Salisbury will not be reduced despite reduced budgets and I believe the overall quality of service to the public will be improved.
As a retired senior police officer I am sure you understand that the police must adopt new ways of working and demonstrate our ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
Regards
Patrick Geenty
The below is an email from the Chief Constable, it contains an absolute lie. Read it and make up your own mind! From: Geenty, Patrick Sent: 01 July 2013 14:45 Subject: Salisbury [NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED/UNCLASSIFIED] NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED/UNCLASSIFIED Dear Thank you for your email and your instruction to reply to you in person, which out of courtesy I am doing. I have made it very clear that the force will not be transporting prisoners across the plain or, heaven forbid, Southampton and that we will build a new custody facility in or very near to Salisbury. We will be locating a temporary Home Office approved custody facility very near to Salisbury from April 2014, when the current facility will be closed, and until the new purpose built facility is established. I have commitments from the PCC to provide the money and I would not have agreed to the UTC scheme had that not been the case. I have personally explained the rationale to staff in Salisbury who whilst they do not like the proposal understand my reasons. I am fully aware of my responsibilities for the safety and wellbeing of staff and the public and nothing I am doing will put that at risk. I have no choice about budget cuts, the money is simply removed by the treasury and unless you want a bankrupt force which doesn‟t pay its staff then these changes have to be made. With regards to your comments about working in the same premises as staff from other agencies and the possible clash of cultures, it is something we are going to have to come to terms with. I know that police staff understand the need to protect front line resources and that getting used to working in a shared environment is something most accept in order to protect the front line. Actual experience of doing this in Monkton Park is that it works and in fact facilitates closer more effective cross agency working. The numbers of police officers working in Salisbury will not be reduced despite reduced budgets and I believe the overall quality of service to the public will be improved. As a retired senior police officer I am sure you understand that the police must adopt new ways of working and demonstrate our ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Regards Patrick Geenty vcg507

9:20pm Thu 16 Jan 14

vcg507 says...

So when the Chief is adamant and goes on record that he will not transport detainees across the Plain and if he would have too he would refuse the UTC offer, will he now stand up and be counted, and remain true to his word and inform the PCC that the custody centre in Salisbury will remain open?

If not, he should resign.
So when the Chief is adamant and goes on record that he will not transport detainees across the Plain and if he would have too he would refuse the UTC offer, will he now stand up and be counted, and remain true to his word and inform the PCC that the custody centre in Salisbury will remain open? If not, he should resign. vcg507

9:32pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Grampie says...

At the moment we have roads closed because of floods, including the A36 and the A303.

When it snows, many roads across the Plain become difficult to negotiate and are often closed.

If this happens in the future, what will they do with the prisoners if they cannot get them to Melksham?

The Chief Constable said "I have made it very clear that the force will not be transporting prisoners across the plain or, heaven forbid, Southampton"

I would rather go to Southampton than Melksham if I was knicked. At least my missus could find her way there to bring me a file baked in a cake.
At the moment we have roads closed because of floods, including the A36 and the A303. When it snows, many roads across the Plain become difficult to negotiate and are often closed. If this happens in the future, what will they do with the prisoners if they cannot get them to Melksham? The Chief Constable said "I have made it very clear that the force will not be transporting prisoners across the plain or, heaven forbid, Southampton" I would rather go to Southampton than Melksham if I was knicked. At least my missus could find her way there to bring me a file baked in a cake. Grampie

9:32pm Thu 16 Jan 14

FreeBornJohn says...

yikes
yikes FreeBornJohn

9:43pm Thu 16 Jan 14

FreeBornJohn says...

I CAN believe the stupidity clearly evident in this decision. Nine Jobs and the Chief have now back tracked on every commitment they made in public and in writing.

Nine jobs ran on a "I won't shut Salisbury Police Station" commitment. And yet here we are, shutting it down. We can only hope that the people in the South of the county see this for what it is, political ideology trumping our safety.

I also received a similar commitment from the CC as that listed above. You can't trust either him or nine jobs.

So for two years we will have only 4 response teams, the fifth will be transporting prisoners. Don't believe the hype over non police officers transporting prisoners, it can't happen. Police vans can only take 1 or 2 prisoners, and what if they get violent half way to Melksham? Non police officers will have to call the Police!!!!

Grampies point is well made, bad weather could shut those roads, what do we do then?

This is crazy on every level and demonstrates that the top people lack commitment, intelligence or even the most basic knowledge of policing.

I call upon nine jobs and the CC to resign.
I CAN believe the stupidity clearly evident in this decision. Nine Jobs and the Chief have now back tracked on every commitment they made in public and in writing. Nine jobs ran on a "I won't shut Salisbury Police Station" commitment. And yet here we are, shutting it down. We can only hope that the people in the South of the county see this for what it is, political ideology trumping our safety. I also received a similar commitment from the CC as that listed above. You can't trust either him or nine jobs. So for two years we will have only 4 response teams, the fifth will be transporting prisoners. Don't believe the hype over non police officers transporting prisoners, it can't happen. Police vans can only take 1 or 2 prisoners, and what if they get violent half way to Melksham? Non police officers will have to call the Police!!!! Grampies point is well made, bad weather could shut those roads, what do we do then? This is crazy on every level and demonstrates that the top people lack commitment, intelligence or even the most basic knowledge of policing. I call upon nine jobs and the CC to resign. FreeBornJohn

9:47pm Thu 16 Jan 14

FreeBornJohn says...

And remember we are due to dip below 1000 Police Officers at some point in the next 6 - 12 months for the first time in almost 30 years.
And remember we are due to dip below 1000 Police Officers at some point in the next 6 - 12 months for the first time in almost 30 years. FreeBornJohn

10:24pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Petera says...

Obviously when they have to transport arrested people to Melksham they will think twice about arresting anybody in the first place. If someone gets a bit mouthy on a Saturday night and the charabang to Melksham is full up,they will just have to ignore it and take no real action.I feel sorry for the police on the streets,it will make their job a lot harder.
Obviously when they have to transport arrested people to Melksham they will think twice about arresting anybody in the first place. If someone gets a bit mouthy on a Saturday night and the charabang to Melksham is full up,they will just have to ignore it and take no real action.I feel sorry for the police on the streets,it will make their job a lot harder. Petera

12:57pm Sat 18 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

Why no statement, comment or announcement from 9 jobs? How is it that the endless bad news about the closure of our police station has to come from someone else all the time. PCCs, complete waste of taxpayers time and money, get rid of them, it was only ever a vehicle to install yes men.
Why no statement, comment or announcement from 9 jobs? How is it that the endless bad news about the closure of our police station has to come from someone else all the time. PCCs, complete waste of taxpayers time and money, get rid of them, it was only ever a vehicle to install yes men. karlmarx

4:12pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Morello says...

My auntie lives near Melksham. Will this transport be like a bus service ?
My auntie lives near Melksham. Will this transport be like a bus service ? Morello

5:02pm Sun 19 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

A while back I pointed out the magic number £500,000 used to justify closures of police stations/services up and down the country by PCCs.

Well, well, well, what a coincidence, again....


DORSET police front desk services could be maintained in the north of the county after members of the public snubbed the idea of having officers running a mobile service.

The force and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) are consulting over counter service provision after a review identified that they were under-used.

The proposals could save about £500,000 – the equivalent of ten frontline officers or 17 PCSOs.

Magic or what?
A while back I pointed out the magic number £500,000 used to justify closures of police stations/services up and down the country by PCCs. Well, well, well, what a coincidence, again.... DORSET police front desk services could be maintained in the north of the county after members of the public snubbed the idea of having officers running a mobile service. The force and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) are consulting over counter service provision after a review identified that they were under-used. The proposals could save about £500,000 – the equivalent of ten frontline officers or 17 PCSOs. Magic or what? karlmarx

5:55pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Schoolmum999 says...

It has come to something when we can't even believe our police officers. I also find it hard to believe that senior officers, including the police and crime commissioner swore this would not occur at a public meeting back at the end of the summer.

It is so sad to see our lovely Salisbury dying a slow and painful death. Mark my words, the hospital will be the next public service under threat.
It has come to something when we can't even believe our police officers. I also find it hard to believe that senior officers, including the police and crime commissioner swore this would not occur at a public meeting back at the end of the summer. It is so sad to see our lovely Salisbury dying a slow and painful death. Mark my words, the hospital will be the next public service under threat. Schoolmum999

6:17pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Petera says...

Salisbury can manage lots of charity shops and hair dressers , but other than that it is dying a slow death. Where are they going to base the traffic wardens? Perhaps they could retrain as minders on the bus to Melksham!
Salisbury can manage lots of charity shops and hair dressers , but other than that it is dying a slow death. Where are they going to base the traffic wardens? Perhaps they could retrain as minders on the bus to Melksham! Petera

11:03pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Petera says...

Petera wrote:
If prisoners are then released, how are they supposed to get back to Salisbury? Also if they are found to have mental or mental problems will they then have to be brought back to Salisbury. Absolutely hopeless and clueless!
Mean't to say mental or medical problems.
[quote][p][bold]Petera[/bold] wrote: If prisoners are then released, how are they supposed to get back to Salisbury? Also if they are found to have mental or mental problems will they then have to be brought back to Salisbury. Absolutely hopeless and clueless![/p][/quote]Mean't to say mental or medical problems. Petera

8:43pm Mon 20 Jan 14

FreeBornJohn says...

For those interested, you should read nine jobs blog this week. It's as though he is an outside observer of this disaster. looking in through the window, rather than the man at the steering wheel.

His main concern is one of parking, but its been addressed. I wonder if he has visited Amesbury Police Station with it's 23 parking spaces (already full due to traffic police being there and the NPT) and now due to have over 100 response officers based there. By my calculations every shift will see 24 personal cars, plus all the Police vehicles. It's ben addressed, so I'm assuming the lanners have created a TARDIS type parking lot.

I used to vote Tory but with this level of complete and utter incompetence coupled with the Salisbury MP being worse than useless, I'm shifting to UKIP (I know they have some barking policies but what can you do). At least the UKIP PCC candidate would not be doing this to our slowly disintegrating city.
For those interested, you should read nine jobs blog this week. It's as though he is an outside observer of this disaster. looking in through the window, rather than the man at the steering wheel. His main concern is one of parking, but its been addressed. I wonder if he has visited Amesbury Police Station with it's 23 parking spaces (already full due to traffic police being there and the NPT) and now due to have over 100 response officers based there. By my calculations every shift will see 24 personal cars, plus all the Police vehicles. It's ben addressed, so I'm assuming the lanners have created a TARDIS type parking lot. I used to vote Tory but with this level of complete and utter incompetence coupled with the Salisbury MP being worse than useless, I'm shifting to UKIP (I know they have some barking policies but what can you do). At least the UKIP PCC candidate would not be doing this to our slowly disintegrating city. FreeBornJohn

11:15am Tue 21 Jan 14

brandx says...

I used to vote Tory, but with Angus, Jane and John Glenn I see them a bunch of bonzos.

Yet to even think about voting UKIP remains a worrying prospect.
I used to vote Tory, but with Angus, Jane and John Glenn I see them a bunch of bonzos. Yet to even think about voting UKIP remains a worrying prospect. brandx

3:51pm Tue 21 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

Perhaps nine jobs remit doesn't cover clearing up the disasters he creates?
Perhaps nine jobs remit doesn't cover clearing up the disasters he creates? karlmarx

4:13pm Tue 21 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

I'm toying with the idea of creating a sit-com in the traditional British farce/panto style, something like dads army/Robin Hood maybe.

"Wontshire council"

Featuring the wicked witch of the North awarding herself and her serfs huge pay rises and allowances.
The sheriff of nothingham, nine jobs.
The local Parliamentarian, Friar Tuck with his holier than thou attitude while making everyone homeless and starving.
And of course various serfs with bit parts like serf in charge of pot hole proliferation, treasures of the mysterious East, Chinese cobblestones gathering serf, trusty steed parking ambassadoors, marshland building serf, Lord Saynesburied. The list of characters is endless...
I'm toying with the idea of creating a sit-com in the traditional British farce/panto style, something like dads army/Robin Hood maybe. "Wontshire council" Featuring the wicked witch of the North awarding herself and her serfs huge pay rises and allowances. The sheriff of nothingham, nine jobs. The local Parliamentarian, Friar Tuck with his holier than thou attitude while making everyone homeless and starving. And of course various serfs with bit parts like serf in charge of pot hole proliferation, treasures of the mysterious East, Chinese cobblestones gathering serf, trusty steed parking ambassadoors, marshland building serf, Lord Saynesburied. The list of characters is endless... karlmarx

9:07pm Tue 21 Jan 14

FreeBornJohn says...

Karl

I'd watch it. Perhaps a bit more like the IT crowd feel.

Our MP must be livid. I had a letter from him on this issue and he was assured by Nine Jobs and the CC that this would not happen. He was told a temp custody suite. I wonder what he must be thinking, you can't trust a Tory. Opps! he is one. You can't trust your colleagues. That's politics.
Karl I'd watch it. Perhaps a bit more like the IT crowd feel. Our MP must be livid. I had a letter from him on this issue and he was assured by Nine Jobs and the CC that this would not happen. He was told a temp custody suite. I wonder what he must be thinking, you can't trust a Tory. Opps! he is one. You can't trust your colleagues. That's politics. FreeBornJohn

9:42pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Petera says...

How are we to believe anythink that Nine Jobs comes out with? If he cant or won't sort this mess out what is he there for?
How are we to believe anythink that Nine Jobs comes out with? If he cant or won't sort this mess out what is he there for? Petera

12:40am Wed 22 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

FreeBornJohn wrote:
Karl

I'd watch it. Perhaps a bit more like the IT crowd feel.

Our MP must be livid. I had a letter from him on this issue and he was assured by Nine Jobs and the CC that this would not happen. He was told a temp custody suite. I wonder what he must be thinking, you can't trust a Tory. Opps! he is one. You can't trust your colleagues. That's politics.
This whole fiasco seems to be made up as it goes along. I initially thought it was written on the back of a fag packet but it doesn't even come up to those high standards. Reminds me of FUBAR
[quote][p][bold]FreeBornJohn[/bold] wrote: Karl I'd watch it. Perhaps a bit more like the IT crowd feel. Our MP must be livid. I had a letter from him on this issue and he was assured by Nine Jobs and the CC that this would not happen. He was told a temp custody suite. I wonder what he must be thinking, you can't trust a Tory. Opps! he is one. You can't trust your colleagues. That's politics.[/p][/quote]This whole fiasco seems to be made up as it goes along. I initially thought it was written on the back of a fag packet but it doesn't even come up to those high standards. Reminds me of FUBAR karlmarx

7:57pm Mon 27 Jan 14

IanMcL says...

I do feel sorry for the very able local Inspector Noble, who nobly has to deliver the broken promises and try to justify the inept leadership actions of his police chief and commissioner.

Melksham is indeed the end of the earth on terms of a journey by road. What an incompetent decision.

Let's vote to eliminate the commissioner job and save the money.

As for the chief...I prefer George Gently to Patrick Geenty!
I do feel sorry for the very able local Inspector Noble, who nobly has to deliver the broken promises and try to justify the inept leadership actions of his police chief and commissioner. Melksham is indeed the end of the earth on terms of a journey by road. What an incompetent decision. Let's vote to eliminate the commissioner job and save the money. As for the chief...I prefer George Gently to Patrick Geenty! IanMcL

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