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Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020

Arrangements for the custody of persons detained at police stations

84.Paragraph 2(1) allows the Scottish Ministers to make arrangements for the functions set out in sub-paragraph (2) to be performed by prisoner custody officers with escort functions.

85.The functions in sub-paragraph (2) are the transfer and custody of prisoners in police stations in connection with appearances before the court by electronic means, and administrative functions connected with such appearances. Arrangements made under sub-paragraph (1) could therefore allow prisoner custody officers to be responsible for the custody of prisoners in police stations before, during or after their appearance before the court, so long as those functions are exercised in connection with the appearance of the prisoner before the court by electronic means. The arrangements could also allow prisoner custody officers to administer court papers and manage timetables for hearings.

86.Sub-paragraph (3) provides that the arrangements made by the Scottish Ministers may include entering into contracts with other persons for the provision of prisoner custody officers.

87.Paragraph 3 applies the relevant provisions of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and the Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Rules 2011 (S.S.I. 2011/331), to the arrangements made under paragraph 2 as they apply to prisoner escort arrangements made under section 102(1) of the 1994 Act. It means, for example, that whenever a prisoner custody officer is responsible for the custody of a prisoner by virtue of arrangements made under paragraph 2, they have the powers and duties under section 104 of the 1994 Act in relation to that prisoner.

88.Paragraph 4 provides that a prisoner is not to be regarded as having been transferred out of police custody for the purposes of section 64(2)(cb) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 where functions are performed in police stations by prisoner custody officers prior to the prisoner being brought before the court. The application of section 64 is otherwise unaffected, meaning that police custody ends when the prisoner appears before the court by electronic means.

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