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Dirty police holding cells contaminated with bodily fluids

Scotland's policing watchdog raised hygiene concerns after a visit to the Dundee station.

Custody: Hygiene concerns over cells at Dundee police station (file pic).
Custody: Hygiene concerns over cells at Dundee police station (file pic). © HEMEDIA / SWNS Group

Dirty holding cells at a Dundee police station were contaminated with bodily fluids.

Inspectors from Scotland's policing watchdog said a recent visit to the West Bell Street station caused "significant" hygiene concerns.

Cell door hatches, walls, benches and toilets were contaminated with food, drink and bodily fluids, they said.

The HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) inspectors urged Police Scotland to carry out an immediate deep clean of the cells after the visit in September.

In a report published on Monday, they said: "We had significant concerns about cleanliness and hygiene at the Dundee custody centre.

"Many cells were not clean. Cell door hatches, walls, benches and toilets were contaminated with food and drink and bodily fluids.

"Cell corridors were messy, and the sink and shower areas were dirty and slip hazards had not been removed. Many of the mattresses and pillows were in a poor state.

"We also had concerns about the cleanliness of the kitchen which is used to prepare detainee meals as well by custody staff for storing and preparing their own meals."

HMICS returned to West Bell Street station two months after their initial visit and found the situation had been dealt with.

Chief superintendent Garry McEwan, from Police Scotland's criminal justice service division, said: "I welcome the HMICS report and the acknowledgement that we've undertaken a significant programme of work following the initial inspection of custody facilities in Tayside.

"The care and welfare of people in police custody is a top priority for Police Scotland and the report recognises many of the improvements made."

Police Scotland has also committed to deep-cleaning cells twice a year.

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