On the 9th – 18th September 2019, the United Nation’s Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) carried out their first ever country visit to the United Kingdom.
The SPT have a mandate to advise and assist national preventive mechanisms on preventing torture and ill-treatment in places of detention. NPM members welcomed this visit, and were pleased that the delegation were able to shadow NPM members on visits to places of detention. The SPT has now published a report to the UK Government after its visit and the NPM has responded here.
The NPM collectively is calling on the government to take swift action in response to the following recommendations made by the SPT, that:
Detainees in police custody should be made routinely aware of and proactively offered access to all their rights and entitlement
A national strategy should be implemented to increase the number of beds in psychiatric hospitals
Segregation in prisons should only be used as a last resort and for the shortest possible period
Serious consideration should be given to establishing a statutory time-limit for immigration detention
The Government has published a response to the SPT’s findings and recommendations from their visit.