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Detention Cells

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons the specifications for police detention cells differ from those for magistrates courts detention cells; and what proposals he has to enable dual use where new combined courts and police stations are constructed. [115240]

[holding answer 22 May 2003]: Cells in magistrates courts are designed to hold detainees during the periods when the courts are in session and may be used for multiple occupancy. Where detainees are held overnight they are usually transferred from magistrates court cells to other accommodation.

Police cells are designed to hold detainees for 24 hours or longer and consequently usually do have provision for sleeping and in cell sanitation.

Consideration is being given to some sharing by the police of magistrates court cells outside of the periods of court operations. This model is planned to be implemented and monitored at the new Warwickshire Criminal Justice Centre joint police station and magistrates court project.