Strathclyde unveils hi-tech modular cells

State-of-the-art metal detectors and hi-tech CCTV and intercom services have been incorporated into Strathclyde Police’s latest custody facility at Saltcoats police office. 

Mar 3, 2011
By Paul Jacques
Reported e-scooter user casualties, by sex and age, Great Britain: year ending June 2021.

State-of-the-art metal detectors and hi-tech CCTV and intercom services have been incorporated into Strathclyde Police’s latest custody facility at Saltcoats police office. 

The new and improved modular cells are a significant development for the force and the portable cells are a first for Strathclyde.

By more than doubling the station’s cell capacity, 40 police hours a week – which would otherwise have been spent transporting prisoners to other stations when Saltcoats is full – will be freed up, allowing officers extra time patrolling their local communities.

Since Saltcoats had only ten cells, the additional modular cells will address the current prisoner demand, but if the demand for cells changes, the modular cells can be moved to other areas throughout Strathclyde.

A new CCTV system has been installed in the office with cameras in four of the cells and an intercom system allowing prisoners to speak to staff, which reduces the number of police needed – previously it has been one officer or member of staff for every prisoner.

This means supervised time with prisoners is kept to a minimum and this will provide a safer environment for both prisoners and police.

As well as the new cells, the existing custody centre has undergone improvements to maximise the safety for staff and officers and to cater for people with a disability. This includes a secure visits room with prisoner telephone facility, a search room, secure property storage and the conversion of two detention rooms to cells.

A state-of-the-art metal detector – featuring technology that can detect objects such as mobile phones or weapons hidden inside the body – has been installed on a trial basis to improve staff and prisoner safety.

Speaking about the upgrade, Chief Constable Stephen House, said: “Multiple cell occupancy had become the norm in the Ayrshire area therefore there was a need to upgrade and modernise the custody facilities. The benefits of these modern improvements will assist the management of prisoners throughout north, east and south Ayrshire. Officers will spend less time supervising and transporting prisoners and spend more time patrolling their local communities.

“Modular cell buildings are a new approach to prisoner and staff facilities and are an important investment to the force.

“The development has given us an extra 11 cells, taking our capacity up to 21 in Saltcoats.”
Councillor Stephen Curran, Convener of Strathclyde Police Authority, added: “Strathclyde Police Authority has invested heavily in upgrading and modernising the custody facilities at Saltcoats. The new modular cells better support the needs of a modern police force and will ensure police officers spend more time in local communities.”

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