50,000 through Police Investigation Centres

Over 53,000 detainees have been processed through the Norfolk and Suffolk Police Investigation Centres (PICs) since the first custody centre opened in Aylsham in 2011.

Six PICs opened across the two counties last year with the final one opening in Great Yarmouth a year ago this month.

The PICs, located at Aylsham, Wymondham, Kings Lynn, Martlesham, Bury St Edmunds and Great Yarmouth were opened as part of collaborative ventures designed to improve the services offered by each force, whilst making financial savings.

Since the Aylsham PIC opened its doors in February 2011 in total 53,851* arrested persons have been processed, a breakdown of which are below:

Aylsham – 4,163

Wymondham – 11,345

Kings Lynn – 8,045

Martlesham – 9,691

Bury St Edmunds – 7,824

Great Yarmouth – 6,347

In April, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons carried out an unannounced inspection of the centres following which they praised the conditions and staff attitude, and described the collaborative working practices as “stunningly successful”.

Highlighted in their report was the “clean, bright, spacious environment” the well-equipped medical rooms and “a real pride and ownership in the whole PIC system”, among other things.

The Police Investigation Centres have a total of 146 cells and host CCTV facilities, forensic and photographic facilities and interview rooms with modern interview recording equipment.

The custody facilities provide efficient and cost-effective custody facilities for detainee handling and investigations, allowing specialist police officers, staff and investigators to question suspects and hold them in custody under one roof.

Head of Custody for the six PICs, Chief Inspector Roger Wiltshire, said: “Since the opening of the first PIC conditions for all of our staff who work in custody has been significantly improved, with the PICs contributing significantly to the ethos of providing excellent local services.

“The success of the PICs is an excellent example of effective collaborative working between Norfolk and Suffolk, allowing us to share our expertise and resources to improve our services to communities.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (December 6) Echo.