Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I am interested to know a few things about Police Cells available to the Metropolitan Police.

1. How many detention cells (what the media refer to as "Police cells") are operated by the Metropolitan Police?

2. How many (if any) of these are located outside of Greater London?

3. How many (if any) of these are located in the City of London?

4. On how many occasions have all of these cells been fully occupied? Please provide a list of the dates of these.

5. Which (if any) other organisations (e.g. other police forces) have equivalent facilities within Greater London that can be used by the Metropolitan Police to for detainees that would normally be placed in a Metropolitan Police police cell? If there is an order of preference in which the use of these facilities would be considered/requested, please list them in that order.

6. Which (if any) organisations (excluding other territorial police forces) currently have agreements with the Metropolitan Police to use Metropolitan Police cells, either routinely or exceptionally?

7. Does the Metropolitan Police have any plans to change the number of police cells it operates? If yes, what is the approximate timescale (e.g. months, tens of years) and is the plan to increase or decrease the number.

For questions 1 to 3, I'm interested in the current number available for the routine use of the Metropolitan Police, even if the management of them is outsourced. Please include all those cells that would normally be available (e.g. include any that are temporarily closed for repairs, etc., but not those that are out of use for the long term).

For question 4, I'm interested in whether all the cells available on that occasion were full, regardless of the actual number. If all were full for e.g. three consecutive days, then I would count those three days as one occasion. I would like the answer to this question to reflect at least the last 5 years, but if records are readily available for a longer period then please include all those occasions too. Please state what period your answer covers.

Yours faithfully,

Chris McKenna

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr. McKenna

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080001664
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 10/08/2011. I note you seek
access to the following information:

"I am interested to know a few things about Police Cells available to the
Metropolitan Police.

1. How many detention cells (what the media refer to as "Police
cells") are operated by the Metropolitan Police?

2. How many (if any) of these are located outside of Greater London?

3. How many (if any) of these are located in the City of London?

4. On how many occasions have all of these cells been fully occupied?
Please provide a list of the dates of these.

5. Which (if any) other organisations (e.g. other police forces) have
equivalent facilities within Greater London that can be used
by the Metropolitan Police to for detainees that would normally be
placed in a Metropolitan Police police cell? If there is an order
of preference in which the use of these facilities would be
considered/requested, please list them in that order.

6. Which (if any) organisations (excluding other territorial police
forces) currently have agreements with the Metropolitan Police to use
Metropolitan Police cells, either routinely or exceptionally?

7. Does the Metropolitan Police have any plans to change the number of
police cells it operates? If yes, what is the approximate
timescale (e.g. months, tens of years) and is the plan to increase or
decrease the number.

For questions 1 to 3, I'm interested in the current number available
for the routine use of the Metropolitan Police, even if
the management of them is outsourced. Please include all those cells
that would normally be available (e.g. include any that are
temporarily closed for repairs, etc., but not those that are out of
use for the long term).

For question 4, I'm interested in whether all the cells available on
that occasion were full, regardless of the actual number. If all
were full for e.g. three consecutive days, then I would count those
three days as one occasion. I would like the answer to this
question to reflect at least the last 5 years, but if records are
readily available for a longer period then please include all those
occasions too. Please state what period your answer covers."

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act). You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party. In some circumstances the MPS may be unable to achieve this
deadline. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact me at the above e-mail address, quoting the reference number
above.

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
Policy and Support Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr McKenna
Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080001664
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 10th August 2011. I note you
seek access to supply the following information:
"I am interested to know a few things about Police Cells available to the
Metropolitan Police.

1. How many detention cells (what the media refer to as "Police cells")
are operated by the Metropolitan Police?

2. How many (if any) of these are located outside of Greater London?

3. How many (if any) of these are located in the City of London?

4. On how many occasions have all of these cells been fully occupied?
Please provide a list of the dates of these.

5. Which (if any) other organisations (e.g. other police forces) have
equivalent facilities within Greater London that can be used by the
Metropolitan Police to for detainees that would normally be placed in a
Metropolitan Police police cell? If there is an order of preference in
which the use of these facilities would be considered/requested, please
list them in that order.

6. Which (if any) organisations (excluding other territorial police
forces) currently have agreements with the Metropolitan Police to use
Metropolitan Police cells, either routinely or exceptionally?

7. Does the Metropolitan Police have any plans to change the number of
police cells it operates? If yes, what is the approximate timescale (e.g.
months, tens of years) and is the plan to increase or decrease the number.

For questions 1 to 3, I'm interested in the current number available for
the routine use of the Metropolitan Police, even if the management of them
is outsourced. Please include all those cells that would normally be
available (e.g. include any that are temporarily closed for repairs, etc.,
but not those that are out of use for the long term).

For question 4, I'm interested in whether all the cells available on that
occasion were full, regardless of the actual number. If all were full for
e.g. three consecutive days, then I would count those three days as one
occasion. I would like the answer to this question to reflect at least the
last 5 years, but if records are readily available for a longer period
then please include all those occasions too. Please state what period your
answer covers."
EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION
To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
at the Territorial Policing Headquarters - TP Criminal Justice Team.
RESULT OF SEARCHES
Before I explain the result of my searches I thought that it might assist
you if I outline the parameters set out by the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (the Act) within which a request for information can be answered.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 creates a statutory right of access to
recorded information held by public authorities.
A public authority in receipt of a request must, if permitted, confirm if
that public authority holds the requested information and, if so, then
communicate that information to the applicant.
Where the public authority do not hold the information that has been
requested they are obliged to confirm this fact. We are not obliged to
'create' answers in order to meet a FOIA request.
In this instance only Question 1 could be answered by recorded
information, however in order to assist you I have endeavoured to obtain a
response for the questions where no recorded information is held.
DECISION
I have decided to release the information requested in Question 1 in full.
DISCLOSURE
Question 1
How many detention cells (what the media refer to as "Police cells") are
operated by the Metropolitan Police?
The MPS has a total of 992 operational cells contained within 72 custody
suites across London. Out of these 52 suites are operational on a 24/7
basis with 807 cells and the remainder are 'overflow' ones with 185 cells
which are utilised to meet demands on and above 24/7 custody core
business.
Question 2
How many (if any) of these are located outside of Greater London?
There is no information held in relation to MPS police cells located
outside Greater London, to clarify this confirms that there are no cells
operated by the MPS outside Greater London.
Question 3
How many (if any) of these are located in the City of London?
There is no information held in relation to MPS police cells located
inside the City of London, to clarify this confirms that there are no
cells operated by the MPS within the City of London.
Question 4
On how many occasions have all of these cells been fully occupied? Please
provide a list of the dates of these.
No recorded information is held. The current NSPIS (National Strategy for
Police Information Systems) Custody system does not store historic data
regarding cell usage. It is designed to be a live system with a capacity
to store custody records and not which cell was used or when a custody
suite was full. The custody system in use prior to 2008 (Anite) did not
store the historic data required for this request to be fulfilled.
Unfortunately, due to the above, I am not able to provide you with an
answer to this question.
Question 5
Which (if any) other organisations (e.g. other police forces) have
equivalent facilities within Greater London that can be used by the
Metropolitan Police to for detainees that would normally be placed in a
Metropolitan Police police cell? If there is an order of preference in
which the use of these facilities would be considered/requested, please
list them in that order.
No recorded information is held. The only 'equivalent' custody facilities
available within the London Area are suites owned and managed by the City
of London Police Service and British Transport Police (BTP). Due to the
small numbers of cells available within these facilities the MPS does not
routinely use them. If consideration was given to utilising these
facilities there would be no order of preference.
Question 6
Which (if any) organisations (excluding other territorial police forces)
currently have agreements with the Metropolitan Police to use Metropolitan
Police cells, either routinely or exceptionally?
No recorded information is held. The United Kingdom Borders Agency (UKBA),
BTP and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) periodically use
MPS cells. This is not on a routine basis and only used to house limited
numbers of prisoners.
Question 7
Does the Metropolitan Police have any plans to change the number of police
cells it operates? If yes, what is the approximate timescale (e.g. months,
tens of years) and is the plan to increase or decrease the number.
No recorded information is held. Whilst there are no plans that are
centred on cell numbers specifically, the MPS is constantly monitoring the
requirement for cell capacity and updating/improving it's custody
facilities. The plan is to provide fit for purpose custody suites based in
strategic geographical locations across London.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS
Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of
complaint.
Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact Deborah Solomon on telephone number 0207 161 4291 quoting the
reference number above.
Yours sincerely

David Way
Acting Head of TP Criminal Justice
Territorial Policing Headquarters
In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information, the
Metropolitan Police Service will not breach the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the
enclosed information will continue to be protected by law. Applications
for the copyright owner's written permission to reproduce any part of the
attached information should be addressed to MPS Directorate of Legal
Services, 1st Floor (Victoria Block), New Scotland Yard, Victoria, London,
SW1H 0BG.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS
Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?
You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.
Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.
Ask to have the decision looked at again ***
The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.
That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.
Complaint
If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.
Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:
FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]
In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner
After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.
For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

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