HC Deb 07 November 2002 vol 392 cc841-2W
Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on the maximum distance between the place of arrest and a custody suite persons in police custody should be transported. [77766]

Mr. Denham

There is no central policy on the maximum distance persons should be transported between arrest and a custody facility. Such transfers fall within chief constables' operational discretion. Chief constables are required to designate the police stations which are to be used for the purpose of detaining arrested persons. However, the location and distribution of such stations is entirely a matter for chief constables to decide. Constables do have the power to take arrested persons to non-designated stations in certain specific circumstances. For example, where they are working in an area covered by a non-designated station and they think it will only be necessary to detain the person for a relatively short time.

A further important development in this area will be the planned introduction of "street bail". This will remove the absolute obligation on police officers to take arrested persons to a police station as soon as practicable. Officers will be able to exercise discretion and decide to bail arrestees on the street on the basis that they must undertake to attend a police station at a later time.