Sussex police were recently named as one of the top three police services for quality fingerprints using the Livescan system. Quality fingerprints are important as they increase the chance of matching a detainee’s prints with previous prints taken from a crime scene. Helping Sussex Police reach this position was a consistent approach to quality management by Reliance Secure Task Management, who man and operate their custody suites. Reliance Secure Task Management was recently awarded ISO 9001:2000 for Quality Management systems put in place by itself at Sussex police’s six Investigation and Detention Handling Centres (IDHC’s).
These IDHC’s include all the custody services and electronic ID procedures used by Sussex Police and managed by Reliance. Reliance took over the custody operations for Sussex Police at existing custody suites in 2001, and the following year the first of three new replacement IDHCs were built under a PFI arrangement which also saw an additional unit refurbished as an IDHC, giving a total of six custody centres managed by Reliance on behalf of the Sussex Police.
From the beginning Reliance has worked hard with Sussex Police to reduce the time taken for booking in a detainee down to what is now, an average of just 9 minutes. This was achieved by introducing new procedures and staff roles. Reduction of booking-in and other detainee processing time has also contributed to an increased visibility of operational police officers on the streets of Sussex. Chief Superintendent Peter Coll said, “This achievement is testimony to the excellent work undertaken in our cell blocks every day by our Reliance staff. They have consistently delivered to the highest standards in fingerprinting detainees and this is a vital component in the Criminal Justice Process, thereby bringing offenders to justice. I congratulate the Sussex Reliance team for their fine achievement.” Another example of excellence is the Electronic ID Parade Unit where a team of Reliance people film detainees and volunteers, create the case files of comparative looking people, book the showings with solicitors and witnesses and manage these showings. Due to an increased staff capacity, viewing times for witnesses through the week have been able to be extended until 8pm and now also include Saturdays and Sundays. Turnaround time from the filming of the suspect to viewing by the witness has also been driven down to less than 10 days. Members of the Reliance team have even been involved in the training for specialist officers at Gatwick Airport. Eric Garbett Reliance’s General Manager for the Sussex police contract, seen on the left in the picture along with Claire Boffee, Centre Manager Chichester and Worthing, and Tony Lewis, Operations Manager, receiving the ISO9001 certificate from Superintendent Russ Whitfield, said, “Gaining ISO 9001 is a huge pat on the back for all the hard work and effort our staff put in on a day to day basis and this, together with taking Sussex into the top three of the Livescan league for fingerprinting, is evidence of the quality service Reliance provides for it’s clients.”