Report on an unannounced inspection visit to police custody suites in West Mercia
This report describes our findings following an inspection of West Mercia Police custody facilities. The inspection was conducted jointly by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and HM Inspectorate of Prisons in January 2022. It is part of our programme of inspections covering every police custody suite in England and Wales.
The inspection assessed the effectiveness of custody services and outcomes for detained people throughout the different stages of detention. It examined the force’s approach to custody provision in relation to detaining people safely and respectfully, with a particular focus on children and vulnerable adults.
We last inspected custody facilities in West Mercia Police in 2014. At that time West Mercia provided its custody services in collaboration with Warwickshire Police. Our recommendations applied to both forces, but for this inspection we have assessed West Mercia’s progress against those recommendations. We found that of the 29 recommendations made during the 2014 inspection, the force has fully or partially achieved 19.
To help the force improve, we have made recommendations to it (and the police and crime commissioner). These address our main causes of concern. We have also highlighted a further 11 areas for improvement. These are set out in section 6 of this report.
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West Mercia Police needs to urgently improve its custody services