New Custody Suite Officially Opened

HE Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook officially opened the new Custody Suite at Police Headquarters, Coleman House, on Monday, 3 May 2021, with a special ‘ribbon cutting’ ceremony.

Governor Rushbrook at the beginning of his speech said:

“I am extremely pleased to be here with you today. A particularly special day. It is a day that we have all been waiting to arrive for a long, long time. It is the day we can finally say goodbye to the antiquated arrangements for placing someone in police custody and welcome in a modern era of holding people in more appropriate and civilised facilities, designed and built for the purpose.”

The new custody suite is designed to be Human Rights compliant and was funded by the UK Government’s Conflict Stability, and Security Fund (CSSF).

Works for the Project commenced in September 2020 and was completed by St Helena contractors in only seven months in April 2021.

The new four-cell Custody Suite also contains a Consultation Room, Medical Room, Interview Room, storage areas, shower and office space – all of which will have disabled access.

Prison Manager, Heidi Murray, commented:

“The New Custody Suite building is a beacon to the ingenuity of Saint Helenians. It was a project that was brought in on time, in a shorter timeframe than originally anticipated and on budget. All of this was completed in what has turned out to be a difficult year for the whole World. It was a whole team effort that made this Project such a success, and St Helena now has a Custody Suite to be proud of and one that would be envied by many. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who had input into this Project. We must also take the time to thank the UK for their support when they were facing such adversity due to COVID-19, we should never underestimate their commitment to us.”

Governor Rushbrook concluded his opening address by thanking those who had contributed to completing the new facility:

“I wish to pay tribute to the many people who have made today possible. In particular Prison Manager, Heidi Murray, who was the driving force bringing much-needed improvements to the way those in custody are housed and treated, Chief of Police, David Price, for his vision in seeing the weaknesses and for continuously raising with the SHG administration and Governor’s Office to achieve the changes he knew were required. Also Sam Cherrett, the CSSF Programme Manager in the Governor’s Office, for finding the way with our CSSF colleagues in London, and the FCDO Police Advisor to finance the construction of this essential facility. To all involved in the on time and on budget design and construction work, including ProArc, Isaac Construction, Ambledale, SHG Procurement and Planning Teams. To Adam Sizeland and Museum staff whose watching brief turned into a call for assistance during the site excavations, after seven months of noise and disturbance to the police, immigration, probation and control room staff during construction. Lastly, my thanks to Chief Inspector Mark Calland from the Wiltshire Police Service, who has been commissioning the new custody suite and training our officers to use it to the best possible standards in the months and years ahead. I hope we have fulfilled your expectations, you have certainty fulfilled ours.”

A full copy of the Governor’s speech can be read here.

#StHelena #PoliceDirectorate #HMPrison #NewCustodySuite #CSSF #AltogetherSafer


4 May 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470