New custody technology ‘dramatically improves’ monitoring of detainees

Northumbria Police has developed new technology that it says will change the way detainees are managed in custody, with officers at Millbank police station in South Shields the first in the force to use the new electronic custody registration (ECR) system.

Aug 26, 2015
By Paul Jacques

Northumbria Police has developed new technology that it says will change the way detainees are managed in custody, with officers at Millbank police station in South Shields the first in the force to use the new electronic custody registration (ECR) system.

It allows custody staff to manage detainees more quickly, safely and accurately and has the potential to be implemented in other forces across the country.

Staff at the South Tyneside police station have been equipped with new tablets and the custody suite has been fitted with new hi-tech 55in monitors.

Reviews, medication schedules and other interventions are entered on the force system and automatically synchronise to the hand-held devices.

This enables staff to access information and add additional information into the system while they are away from the custody desk checking prisoners within the cells.

The new ECR system has already helped custody staff at Millbank and is currently being installed at Forth Banks, Southwick and Middle Engine Lane police stations.

Custody Inspector Harninder Bola said: “This technology has already dramatically improved our monitoring of detainees at the custody suite in South Shields and helped in our recording processes.

“The chance of human error will be reduced and staff will have more time to focus on the welfare of prisoners rather than endless streams of paperwork.

“The success of this new system will see it rolled out across the force and make our custody suites some of the most time-efficient and professional in the country.”

Superintendent Gillian Mitchell added: “Developments such as this highlight Northumbria Police’s commitment to realise the benefits of modern technology and use it revolutionise the way we police our region.

“We will continue to provide a safe environment for prisoners by ensuring our staff and officers are trained and equipped with the best tools we have available to us.”

Northumbria police and crime commissioner Vera Baird said Northumbria Police was “once again delivering a ‘first’ and harnessing new technology to speed up and make the custody process safer”, adding: “This will be better for detainees whose needs will be better attended to; it will improve efficiency and will get officers back out on patrol again more quickly, which is exactly what the public wants.”

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