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Appropriate care for detainees in police custody is non-negotiable says the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner. A HMICFRS report has raised serious areas of concern around legal rights, safety and welfare in West Mercia Police custody.

The Commissioner reaffirms his commitment to continue to invest in and scrutinise the force to ensure the improvements recommended in the report are delivered. This includes utilising the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme, to carry out checks ensuring standards in custody and detainees’ health, safety and welfare needs are always met.

He has also invested to update CCTV and ensured other remedial works which will make custody buildings safer are already underway.

Commissioner John Campion said “West Mercia Police have a duty to those in their care, and the findings of this report are not good enough. These are issues that the force and I, are already aware of. I am reassured by the action that is already being taken.

The report highlighted that a clear structure is in place and highlighted some good practice. The force must build on this, and their swift response gives me hope that they will deliver.

My Independent Custody Scheme provides important continued scrutiny and I will continue, to formally hold the force to account to ensure those being detained can trust that they will be safe and cared for appropriately.”