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More unexpected business for Lancashire taxis

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More unexpected business for Lancashire taxis

Post by Admin on Sun 6 Sep 2009 - 9:19

Suspects given taxi rides home by police after arrest
Criminal suspects are being given taxi rides home after arrest by the police.

04 Sep 2009

If they don't get cabs they are being supplied with train and bus travel tokens by officers.

Lancashire Constabulary are picking up the cost of returning suspects, and people charged with offences and then granted bail by police officers, to their homes for the next three and a half months.

The system is expected to cost thousands of pounds and has come about because the custody unit at the force's Western Division headquarters in Blackpool - one of the busiest crime areas in the country - has been shut down as improvements costing over 1million to the cells are carried out.

Up to 100 prisoners at a time may be held in the resort's cells, and now instead of a walk home they go door-to-door.

The unit closure means that anyone arrested in Blackpool and the nearby towns of Thornton Cleveleys and Lytham St Annes now has to be taken 15 miles to Preston to be questioned and charged.

More minor matters such as drink driving and those arrested on court warrants face a shorter journey to Fleetwood.

When suspects are released from Preston Police station with or without being charged the cost of getting them home is being picked up by the police.

Youths - those who are 17 and under - are given taxi rides and adults are given travel tokens.

One criminal lawyer from the area said: "When people were arrested and taken to Blackpool police station and then released they had to make their own way home.

"Now because they are using Preston nick when people are released from the cells they get their return trip."

" No one is paying my extra petrol going to and from Preston to represent clients, but some are getting taxis rides back to their front doorsteps."

"It is not just the odd one it's dozens."

Superintendent Richard Bayly said :"The custody suite at Blackpool Police station is currently undergoing a refurbishment.

"This will increase the capacity of the cells and allow the police to deal more efficiently with prisoners.

"The work will create eight extra cells and two glass front observation cells and a new dedicated prisoner entrance point.

" The work is essential to make facilities safer for detainees and the police.To allow this work to take place the custody area is closed and will be to around Christmas time.

"The old custody suite in Preston is being used in the interim and arrangements are in place to ensure the relocation causes minimum disruption."

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