Fedster + 1,307 Posted January 6, 2018 Share Posted January 6, 2018 Chiefs say there will be new guidance for officers. Chiefs are developing new guidance for officers after an independent watchdog raised concerns about female detainees being left in cells without sanitary protection. The Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) published an open letter to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd lambasting police for “routinely ignoring” the needs of menstruating women held in cells. Current practice may even violate the human rights of female detainees under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010, the letter, signed by ICVA chief executive Katie Kempen, argues. “Women are frequently left without the assistance of female officers, without access to adequate and hygienic sanitary protection, or facilities for washing and changing; and inadequate consideration is given to menstruation by officers in the exercise of detainees’ risk management. “At its most stark, this can mean women left in paper suits without their underwear and without sanitary protection.” The ICVA had sought legal advice on the matter and urged Ms Rudd exercise her powers as secretary of state to conduct a full equality impact assessment of current national policy and amend PACE Code C. Women detainees should be privately asked about their needs during the book-in process and a fresh hygiene pack should be offered without request every six hour period in custody, the letter says. Provisions must be made for female detainees to change protection in private, unobserved, as well as hand-washing facilities and sensitivity must be shown during strip searches, it adds. “No women or girl should be left in indignity by police officers for want of a difficult conversation or an inexpensive box of tampons…swift action is necessary to ensure that the dignity of women and girls is adequately protected by the guidance offered nationally to individual officers and police forces,” the letter states. National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for custody Assistant Chief Constable Nev Kemp said: “In consultation with women's groups and other organisations, we are in the process of developing comprehensive guidance for officers on how to deal with these sensitive and often complex cases. "The police service is committed to upholding the highest custody standards to ensure that all detainees are treated in the right and proper way. We regularly facilitate unannounced, independent inspections of custody units and use the feedback to improve our approach.” But she insisted that “only a very small number of detainees” have been affected by inadequate sanitary protection. A Home Office spokesman said: “Everyone who is held in custody should be treated with dignity and have their needs respected. "That is why we are working closely with the Independent Custody Visiting Association and the National Police Chiefs’ Council to understand where improvements can be made on this issue.” View On Police Oracle Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now