Cops plan cell scrub down

| 14/02/2013

(CNS): In the face of a damning report from the UK’s prison inspectorate about the appalling conditions at both the George Town and West Bay police lock-ups, RCIPS management has said it is taking steps to try and clean-up and redecorate the cells in which prisoners are held while in police custody. The report described filthy, hot conditions, unhygienic facilities and graffiti-covered cell walls. Responding to the report, which described the conditions as “barely fit for human habitation”, the police said they welcomed the report, which had once again raised the issue of the about the conditions at the lock-ups and the desperate need for investment.

“Our position on the cells is well known; they are not fit for purpose,” a police spokesperson stated. “And we have concerns about the safety risks to prisoners as well as the opportunities for those in custody to exchange information with co-accused … We are also aware that there are steps that we can take, while awaiting the investment, to try and improve the conditions within the cell area such as decoration, cleaning etc. We are working to make these improvements as expeditiously as possible."

While the report highlighted the poor environmental conditions in which detainees are being held, it also pointed to other major problems, including the way they were being treated and the lack of training for officers working on custody duty. The report revealed that one officer watched videos on YouTube to see how law enforcement in the US managed lock-ups.

The police said that while the RCIPS awaited the necessary major investment to upgrade the cells, training was already underway for officers.

“We have addressed the associated policy and training issues and have ensured that all staff who work in the custody areas have received appropriate training,” officers stated.

The issue of the problems in the lock-up were not only detailed in the report but the day to day realities were highlighted in the Grand Court as well last week when a teenage boy accused of arson pleaded guilty to the offence after setting fires at both West Bay and George Town stations.

The court heard that the youngster, who was only 16 years old at the time, had been held in a cell at West Bay police station for more than two days without being charged and had been mistreated by the officers. When he tried to attract attention to get water and food he was ignored and as a result he set a fire to attract attention. The fire was put out and the boy rescued before he or anyone else was hurt.

Following a further five days in custody at George Town police station, again without charge, the teen was moved to inner cells far away from the guard post, despite being a minor, and was again neglected by officers and so resorted to setting a fire to attract attention.

However, on the second occasion the fire was not noticed until it was out of control and officers couldn’t get to the boy, who was still locked in the cell, because of smoke. He was eventually rescued from the blaze by fire officers but not before he sustained serious lung injuries.

See full UK prison inspectors report below regarding the police cells.

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Category: Crime

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why can't the prisoners keep thier own home clean, Bad enough that tax payer feed them but now they have to clean up after them…

    • Anonymous says:

      It wasn't the police who defaced the walls with dirt and gaffiti.  No one else but the prisoners did that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I really hope that one of the newly elected policiticans can get the government to order a top to bottom review of the RCIPS.  It is a been a comedy of errors from Tempura to the holding cells to the keystone cop investigations in major crimes…the list is long and it should be short!  On such a small island to have so many unsolved major crimes is simply inexcusable!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    David Baines has been the worst Top Cop that we have ever had here and seeing as I pay his wages, I am entitled to say so. I hope that some of these aspiring politicians who genuinely care about their country listen to the people and overhaul the police service. It is out of control. They have become above the law, are a law unto themselves and excessively secretive.


  4. Anonymous says:

    We better not be spending public funds to have a company do this. The prisoners are not doing anything and the place needs cleaning up.  Get them to do it.

  5. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    Get some of the nine thousand freeloaders to go in and clean and paint.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whats even scary is that non of the police (the upper management) noticed the deplorable conditions?????

      • Anonymous says:

        Many of the police officers are used to living in those conditions so it was the norm for them.  Do we really think they give two poops about the building and structure? have you seen the conditions some of the other caribbean police lockup and prisons are in?  Cayman's is probably the Ritz in comparison.  What a disgrace.  I am not wishing anything bad for the people remanded because alot of times people are arrested and are not guilty of any crime and should not be subjected to such.  I thought the Government would have at least had a cleaning company contracted to do the cleaning on a regular basis though, I can only imagine what some of the desks and drawers must look like then.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So now, after a review by the UK prisons inspectorate, our local cops realize the holding cells need cleaning? Isn't it common sense that any area habitated by any living person or other animal, needs regular cleaning? Sounds a bit like the turtle farm!

    Who will be held responsible? Because if the Govt. / Gov continues to hold no one accountable for such acts of common-place gross negligence…there will be little to no improvement. Maybe temporary yes…like the traffic "crackdowns"! This is a part of their job…to provide for safety period!…wheather on our roads or in jail…or otherwise!

    Brand new second hand chopper – check, new fire trucks (that replace almost new ones) – check, new fleet of high speed dodge chargers – check, more travel than anyone can count – check, hiring of many cronies to many high paying, and newly created jobs – check, checks (some in the millions of dollars) for churches – check.

    BUT…new garbage trucks – no check, cleaning and update to cells – no check. Suggests nasty?…

    The police here and the wider Govt. service continues to tax us, waste monies and other resources and no one is held to account!

    I'm tired of the waste…and no one being held to account!


  7. Anonymous says:

    Been there, done that!


    Having spent a grueling 23 hours in that putrid GT lock-up, I can confirm reports of abuse and neglect.  No charges were filed, and I was never prosecuted for the false accusations against me. During my detention, I was denied access to my prescription medication and ignored when seeking medical attention as a result of injuries sustained during an illegal search and siezure.  During my brief time there other detainees were smoking ganga which they easily found hidden within the confines of their cells.  The heat was oppressive, the air stale and odourous, and the staff oblivious to the needs of those housed there.


    When will this disgusting situation be resolved?

  8. Anonymous says:

    My bad when they started descriping the poor facilities I though they were descriping our politicians.

    Could we have those scrubed as well?

  9. Rorschach says:

    hmmmm…funny how the CoP can go to the LA and beg money for everything from helicoptor to new police cars, to new police officers, but he can't ask for money to improve prisoner conditions until a report comes out and basically calls him a torturer for violating peoples human rights..You're doing a bang up job, Mr. Baines…keep it day we may see your name on the list in Strasbourg..