Concerns for those held in Bedfordshire court custody

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There was not enough focus on the care of people detained in court cells in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, say inspectors.

An inspection of court custody in the two counties has been carried out by HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service did too little to drive forward improvements and there was not enough focus on the treatment, care and welfare of detainees, said the report of inspections of court custody facilities.

Inspectors were concerned to find there was no formal assessment of detainees’ risks on arrival to ensure they were identified and managed, handcuffs were routinely applied, even on children and where court custody facilities were secure and cleaning and maintenance was not managed effectively.

Peter Clarke, chief inspector of prisons, said: “This was a mixed inspection We have a number of concerns about safety, risk management, care for the most vulnerable and the physical environment in court custody facilities.”