Concerns about custody

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Plans to close Arbroath Sheriff Court were proposed due to issues relating to custody arrangements, a local MSP has revealed.

The town facility is earmarked for closure and all work will be transferred to Forfar.

However, while in discussion with Angus South MSP Graeme Dey and Angus MP Mike Weir, the SCS revealed that insufficient standard of custody provision at Arbroath was one of the reasons for it being under threat.

In a report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons from last year, concerns were highlighted about the arrangements.

The report points to the fact the prisoners must disembark from the vans on Arbroath High Street and cross a busy public pavement into the building, which they deemed a significant risk.

It was also revealed that due to overcrowding some prisoners have to be accommodated within Arbroath police station on average, three times a month.

Mr Dey said: “The SCS admit Arbroath offered advantages in terms of transport convenience but believe that Forfar is the better option given its scope for future development.

“They made clear that the standard of custody provision at Arbroath was also a determining factor in opting ultimately to propose closing it.”