POLICE SCOTLAND HAVE been called upon to provide a ‘Human Rights Assessment’ that covers their arrangements for dealing with those in custody.
That was the call made by Highland regional Green MSP John Finnie during a Justice Committee meeting at the Scottish Parliament last week.
In a paper submitted to inform the Committee’s discussion of the policing budget, the Scottish Police Federation had raised various issues about how the force deals with custodies that indicated those arrested were often conveyed considerable distances from their point of arrest to suitable custody facilities.
With the number of locations where custodies can be held greatly reduced in recent years, Mr Finnie believes that there needs to be a serious look into the practice.
Highlands and Islands (including Moray) MSP Finnie said: “Depriving someone of their liberty is an extremely serious issue and custodies must be held in appropriate facilities.
“However, with the closure of some cell blocks, it’s increasingly the case that those arrested are taken some considerable distance to be locked-up, with consequential loss of police officers to their community.
“In their written submission Police Scotland told the Committee Police Scotland stated that “human rights and the safety of prisoners at the forefront of any decision” and so I’ve asked that Police Scotland provide a full Human Rights Assessment covering their operating procedures.”