Disclosure Details

Observation cells - 259/17

Dated: 17 Mar 2017

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

Thank you for your e mail dated  3 March  2017 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police. 

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions. 

You asked:

We would be most grateful if you could provide the following information about police cells & people detained in Police Custody:

1. The number of cells across the Force?

2.The number of observation cells (usually cells fitted with CCTV) across the force?

For the year 2016:

3. the  number and proportion  of prisoners put on constant observations,

4. average time spent on constant observations,

5. officer time spent watching these custodies

6. the cost (actual or estimated) to the force of this activity?


We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. 

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Custody Unit of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police. 

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows. 

1&2. There are 4 operational custody suites across the force with 149 cells in total.

Resilience suites are also available for use when operational needs dictate.

All are fitted with CCTV

3-6. No information held.  This is not collated.


Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.