New custody suite opens at Chelmsford police station
A new custody suite has opened at Chelmsford Police Station
following a complete refurbishment.
The completion of the 18-month long project sees an increase in the
number of cells from 11 to 15 and the introduction of Genesys – a
one-stop computer system giving custody sergeants the ability to
oversee and control activity across the suite from a single
The system, which is the
first for custody suites across Essex, gives the user control over
entry and exit to custody while alerting them to activated panic
alarms and allowing detention officers to see and speak to
detainees in their cells via intercom.
The £2 million refurbishment is the third in a long-term program
of re-development across the force’s custody suites and opened for
use at 6am on Monday, November 12, 2012.
Chief Insp Joe Wrigley, Custody Commander, said: “We have a
duty of care towards those who come into our custody and are
governed by legislation and codes of practice around this
“Many of those who come into custody do so as a result of some
kind of crisis and we need to make sure we are equipped to look
after them while making sure they are answerable to the criminal
justice process. We also have a duty of care to our staff and have
made every effort to create a safe and appropriate environment for
them to work in.”
The suite has been designed in line with duty of care codes of
practice to minimise opportunities for self harm and the disposal
of evidence. It also includes increased CCTV coverage, an
observation cell, a disabled toilet and shower area, meal
preparation room and exercise yard.
Around 40,000 detainees are held in Essex Police custody every
Chief Insp Joe Wrigley added: “Chelmsford is a city with one of
the busiest night time economies across the county. Its custody
suite is one of the most central and accessible in Essex so we
needed to increase provision to meet demand.
“The opening of the new suite means police officers can patrol
the town in a more efficient way, returning to the streets more
quickly after taking a detainee to a local suite rather than having
to travel to another.
“I am really pleased with the look of the facility and delighted
we will have it back in the centre of Chelmsford.”