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Police Custody Suites

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what grants are available for (a) renovation and (b) new build for police custody suites; what health and safety reports are made on custody suites; and when health and safety reports on custody suites are made available to the public. [108813]

In 2003–04, capital grant of £97 million and grant towards the cost of borrowing £73 million has been allocated to support police capital programmes. It is for each police authority and chief constable to decide the content of their programme in the light of local priorities.In addition, three authorities are developing custody suite facilities using the private finance initiative, supported by grant.Under a scheme to encourage premises improvements, grant has been provided to support a range of projects including four involving custody facilities.The management of health and safety within police forces, including custody suites, is the responsibility of the chief officer, employing specialist advice from the Home Office, force health and safety advisers and the Health and Safety Executive as appropriate.Where custody suite provision has been contracted out to a service provider, the organisation that owns the custody suite premises is responsible for health and safety.It is at the discretion of the chief officer whether or not the results of any risk assessments, internal audits or external inspections are published.