Police Custody: Sanitary Protection

Home Office written question – answered on 10th January 2018.

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Photo of Rosena Allin-Khan Rosena Allin-Khan Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that police services provide access to sanitary care products and washing facilities to all female detainees who are menstruating.

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department

Everyone who is held in custody should be treated with dignity and have their needs respected. The Home Office is working closely with the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) to address concerns raised about hygiene and sanitary protection arrangements for female detainees in police custody.

In order to achieve greater consistency across the country, the NPCC is currently consulting forces on their policies and procedures concerning hygiene and sanitary protection with a view to developing new comprehensive guidance for officers.

Home Office officials are considering whether any revisions to PACE Code C are required to ensure that the specific needs of women in detention are recognised and that there are clear statutory guidelines for police practice, taking into account our duties under the Equality Act 2010.

Alongside this work, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire Rescue Services (HMICFRS) are considering increasing the level of scrutiny when conducting custody inspections to ensure the rights of women are protected and they are treated with dignity. This would involve looking in more detail at operational practices in police custody suites.

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