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Pickersgill-Kaye cell locks used in Cleveland custody suite.

Pickersgill-Kaye : 24 April, 2007  (Application Story)
State of the art detainee handling centre at Cleveland police headquarters fitted out with advanced high security prevention of terrorism suite equipped with Pickersgill-Kaye cell locks.
New standards in police custodial facilities and security have been achieved with a flagship development in Cleveland where Leeds-based cell lock manufacturer Pickersgill-Kaye has played a significant role.

Cleveland Police's new state-of-the-art headquarters in Middlesbrough has just opened after a multi-million pound Private Finance Initiative (PFI) has seen a radical rethink of how the police maximises efficiency and its ability to accommodate detainees.

With a 50-cell Detainee Handling Centre, including a segregated and secure Prevention of Terrorism Suite for terrorist suspects - believed to be the most advanced in the country and only the third of its kind - the 56m pound St Hilda's complex provides headquarters for the police force's Redcar and Cleveland districts.

The facility will deal with 70 per cent of the 32,000 arrests a year across Middlesbrough and it has been designed and constructed to comply with the Home Office Police Buildings Design Guide - Custody Element PD Version 4 (2004).

The centre increases the speed and safety of detainee handling, with secure vehicle docking, video links to court, an identification suite, and with CCTV in all cells for improved detainee safety.

And in keeping with the objective of creating facilities that set new standards, the Pickersgill-Kaye Class 1 cell lock was specified by Cleveland Police after it was suggested by the project's contractor. Designed to prevent people from harming themselves, the lock has anti-ligature features that help in the provision of safer cells, whilst providing excellent levels of security and high resistance to damage and wear and tear.

The development of new types of locks, such as the 8-lever Kaye Class 1 Custodial Cell Lock for police and prison services, is seeing traditional lock technology, whilst still relatively effective, becoming less appropriate to some modern demands.

But in the opinion of Pickersgill-Kaye, apart from new product development and innovation re-writing market expectations, there has also been the need for a complementary opportunity to invest in new technology.

One such opportunity is the significant development in Middlesbrough, where the PFI initiative freed some of the traditional constraints and allowed access to new technologies to help Cleveland Police realise its ambitions of a facility at the leading edge of custodial provision, as well as police efficiency.

And as Chief Superintendent Graham Cummings, head of the Cleveland force's Criminal Justice Unit, who oversaw the St Hilda's development, commented: 'With cell door locks, there has been very limited choice until recently. When the Pickersgill-Kaye lock was recommended we took references from other users, such as the Metropolitan Police and received a product demonstration from the company.'

He continued: 'The lock clearly exceeds the criteria provided by the Building Design Guide and not only does it look the part in terms of its modern design, the way it is constructed and its performance are of high quality. It was the answer to what we sought and has helped provide maximum safety, together with a new, more robust key management regime that streamlines efficiency and heightens security - I know that there is no other key anywhere else in the UK, other than our master key that matches the locks in the event of a unit lock-down, for instance.'
Pickersgill-Kaye's Business Development Manager for Security and Engineering Products, John Moore, added: 'The traditional mechanical lock that has been common right across the custodial market had become mature technology and, whilst still highly relevant and useful, the development of a lock with more levers than those in common use was a positive step forward as a new basic requirement for mechanical locks.'

The development of the Pickersgill-Kaye lock led to the introduction of a new standard - SS317: Edition 2. This is now seen as an internationally respected proof of excellence that proves the lock's safe and reliable performance, physical security, durability and resistance to wilful damage, as well as corrosion.

The lock is proven to 300,000 handle operations and door slams and 100,000 key operations, whilst being resistant to a 12-hour saw attack, as well as resisting a side load on the deadbolt of 25kN and to an end load on the deadbolt of 25kN. The new 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 prevent subsequent unlocking with the authorised key.

The prestigious Cleveland development has been designed to foster closer internal communication through its open plan and it brings together other key elements of the criminal justice system with offices for the Crown Prosecution and Probation Services. Its concept also allows for flexibility in the way new detainees can be received during busy periods and there is scope for future expansion within the structure.

Chief Superintendent Cummings said: 'We have been able to centralise and rationalise custodial services across the force. Where we once had six or seven different custodial centres we have now minimised the movement of detainees and officers. That maximises efficiency, particularly when our research showed that 66 per cent of all arrests were made within a 5-6 mile radius of St Hilda's.'
He added that it is also at the centre of the regeneration of a run-down area of Middlesbrough town centre and explained: 'There has been widespread interest from throughout the country in this building and the facilities it boasts. It is an impressive structure that helps put Cleveland at the forefront of policing in the UK and when you look at the facilities - whether it is the cell block, or the office accommodation, it is an immense improvement on the facilities we were using before and it provides a look into the future of police, not just in Cleveland, but the UK as a whole."
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