Sheriff Court urged to act after report

Peterhead Sheriff Court
Peterhead Sheriff Court

Peterhead Sheriff Court has been inspected as part of a study into transport at Sheriff and JP courts.

The inspections were carried out by Mr Hugh Monro CBE across Scotland from October 29, 2010 to March 20, 2012.

Mr Munro said: “There are three cells at Peterhead. All of the cells are very small and can hold up to five prisoners. However, this would make the cells very cramped.”

“During the inspection the cells were very hot. There is no ventilation and staff had to open the door safety hatches to allow air into the cells. It is recommended that the ventilation and heat in the cells is regulated appropriately.”

He added: “There is no CCTV in the cells.”

Mr Munro then said: “The manager confirmed that staff who are new to Peterhead court cells undergo an induction, although there are no records to evidence this.”

He recommended that as part of the ‘Inspection of the Conditions in which Prisoners are Transported and Held in Sheriff and JP Courts while Under Escort’, that the “The ventilation and heat in the cells should be regulated appropriately.”

Mr Munro stated three action points should be dealt with: “The safety message on the escort vehicles should be played at the beginning of all journeys. CCTV should be fitted in the cells. There should be a record kept of staff inductions that take place.”

In summing up Mr Munro said: “It is recommended that the police and escort contractors work together to establish a protocol to charge those who damage cells, across the whole SCS estate.”