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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Open Custody Suites

Date of request: February 6, 2021
Reference: 166-21

Request

  • The name of Open custody suites within your force area
  • Direct dial number (non 101) for above said custody suite’s custody desk
  • Post code and full address of above custody suite

 

Response

Please find below our current list of custody suites.

Custody Suite Address Postcode
Patchway Gloucester Road,

Bristol

BS34 6PY
Bridgwater Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater,

Somerset

TA6 4RR
Keynsham Ashmead Trading Estate,

Ashmead Road, Keynsham,

Bristol

BS31 1SX

Contact can be made with these custody units via 101.

I am not obliged to provide direct contact number as you have asked by virtue of the following exemptions:

  • Section 31(1)(b) – Law Enforcement
  • Section 38(1) – Health and Safety

These are qualified, prejudice based exemptions and therefore there is a requirement to evidence the harm and consider the public interest in disclosure.

Harm

Disclosure of contact details, in this instance direct telephone numbers, may result is these suites have unnecessary contact from members of the public which in turn would take these officers away from their operational duties. Additionally this may result in officers unable to carry out routine inspections of detained individuals which could result in a detainee causing harm to themselves and going unnoticed for some time.

Public Interest Test

Factors favouring disclosure for section 31(1) and 38(1)

I am unable to identify any tangible public interest of the disclosure of direct lines to custody units within the Avon and Somerset Constabulary force area. Contact is already in place to these units via 101.

Factors favouring non-disclosure for section 31(1) and 38(1)

Officers based in these suites have operational duties to carry out, such as processing detainees in and out of custody suites, ensuring that these individuals understand the reasons for their arrest and that they understand any restrictions/ information given to them upon their release. Furthermore officers within the suites carry out routine inspections of all detainee to ensure that their well-being is monitored. The release of contact numbers to the suites would have a detrimental effect of the officers being able to carry out this work should they be inundated with both calls from members of the public and nuisance calls. In turn this could result in officers making fundamental errors when processing detainees in and out of custody suites or during routine inspections potentially compromising the health and safety of detainees.

Balancing Test

It is for these reasons outlined above, that the argument is weighed in favour of non-disclosure. As mentioned above there is no tangible public interest of the disclosure of direct lines to custody units as contact is already in place via 101.

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