I thank my hon. Friend for his response. Is he aware of the poor physical conditions of several Metropolitan police stations, particularly Bexleyheath station, and that such poor facilities could result in a lack of efficiency and morale in the police force?
My hon. Friend is right to focus on Bexleyheath. I accept that it is coming to the end of its useful life. I hope that we shall be able to provide capital allocations for the purchase of a new site in due course. My hon. Friend put the question persuasively.
Is the Minister aware of the importance of this question? Despite repeated promises by him and other Ministers in his Department, remand prisoners are still kept in police cells and women prisoners in particular are kept in the most deplorable conditions, lacking washing and exercise facilities. That should be of great concern to the Minister.
It has indeed been a problem. I am glad to say, however, that we have substantially reduced the number of prisoners in police cells in the south-east. The precise figure is not in my head, but it is between 20 and 40.