One of Dublin’s major Garda Stations has been fitted out with new cell doors incorporating UK lock manufacturer Pickersgill-Kaye Ltd’s products as part of an on-going modernisation programme to improve health and safety in Republic of Ireland police cells.
Pickersgill-Kaye’s cell lock and custodial hatch fulfilled the Irish government’s Office of Public Works (OPW) requirements when it decided to upgrade the nation’s police cells after representations made by senior officers of the Garda Siochana. This is in response to detainee injuries and a small number of fatalities due to prisoners self-harming while in station custody cells.
Of the most recent cases of suicide and attempted suicide recorded in Garda custody, the majority of the victims had died or self-harmed through asphyxiation after managing to find ligature points on old-style heating grills, lights, door hatches and cell door locks.
These incidents were causing not only huge distress to the prisoners’ families but also costing Irish taxpayers substantial sums in compensation claims due to the standard of the cells, some built up to 80 years ago, which were deemed to be a contributing factor in the detainees’ deaths.
Blackrock Garda station was built in 1995 and the custodial suite required upgrading works in order to comply with current standards. The Dublin station’s five cells have now had new custodial cell doors installed by Irish manufacturer Oliver Boland Engineering Ltd, using Pickersgill-Kaye’s Custodial Inspection Hatch and ligature resistant external 8-lever Kaye Class 1 Custodial Cell Lock.
Project-managed by OPW with the assistance of Garda officers, the refurbished cells at Blackrock also include new design flooring, anti-tamper lighting and cell buttons.
Because of the high amount of traffic that pass through the cells at Blackrock - particularly at weekends - such as excessive revellers, shop lifters and the more serious crimes, the lock needed to be robust to cope with the amount of use and abuse they receive.
The Kaye Class 1 lock, strike plate and custodial hatch supplied by Pickersgill-Kaye meet the OPW and Garda’s Professional Standards Unit’s (PSU) strict design criteria for the refitted cells by addressing the architectural issues of the old style doors and mitigating against potential ligature points.
Kaye Class 1 is a heavy duty lock which can fit most standard cell doors. It has been installed by door manufacturers at a growing number of custodial facilities for authorities in the UK, including the Metropolitan Police, Cleveland, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire Police and Two Counties.
Pickersgill-Kaye’s locks help in the provision of safer cells, whilst providing excellent levels of security and resistance against wear and tear. Its products set new standards in terms of modern design, the construction of the lock and its high level of performance.
The Kaye Class 1 Cell Lock meets the demanding requirements laid down in the respected SS317 standard: An international specification that accurately measures the lock’s resistance to wilful damage, physical security, ergonomics, cyclic testing and performance in a hostile environment.
Tested to 300,000 handle operations and door slams and 100,000 key operations, the lock is also resistant to a 12-hour saw attack, as well as a side load on the deadbolt of 25kN and to an end load on the deadbolt of 25kN. The SS317 standard also means it is now necessary to prove that attacking the handle does not prevent unlocking and use of the wrong key does not stop subsequent unlocking with the authorised key.
Like Blackrock many other Garda Stations are being modernised with Pickersgill-Kaye’s high performance hatch and cell door lock providing a safer environment for detainees by mitigating the risk for prisoners to self-harm.