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West Midlands Police has been asked by the government to house 44 prisoners in its custody cells due to prison overcrowding elsewhere. In response the PCC has issued the following statement:

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “The news that West Midlands Police is being asked to keep at least 44 prisoners under lock and key, because of acute overcrowding in the government’s regular prisons is truly remarkable.

“The public want their police officers out in communities preventing and tackling crime, not having to double up as prison officers, because this chaotic government has failed to get the basics right and has failed to plan.  

“Police custody units were built for people who have just been arrested. The facilities are not meant to handle prison inmates.

“The fact police officers will be asked to look after these prisoners will put an extra strain on the force at a time when its focus should be on keeping our region safe. It is already down 1,000 police officers on the number it had in 2010 and this will further compound the issue.”

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