Department of the Legislative Assembly

Humpty Doo Police and Fire Station

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WRITTEN QUESTIONS
10th Assembly


15/07/2005

183. Humpty Doo Police and Fire Station

Ms Carney to MINISTER for Police, Fire and Emergency Services

QUESTION
Humpty Doo Police and Fire Station

The Humpty Doo Police and Fire Station is intended to provide services for Darwin’s growing rural population but key facilities have not been included. For example, there is only one holding cell which means that only one male can be held at a time with no facilities to hold female offenders. Similarly, there are no toilet facilities available meaning prisoners must be taken out of the cell to access these facilities to the toilet block.

The holding cell does not have Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) monitoring which is a requirement under the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody recommendations and with the Palmerston cells also not compliant, it means that indigenous prisoners and excess prisoners at the Humpty Doo Station have to be driven to Police Headquarters in Mitchell Street in the city.

The Berrimah cells are not available as they are currently being used to store archives and records. This will mean that the whole process will take Police off-line for up to four hours while they are taking prisoners to the Mitchell Street holding cells. If there is more than one prisoner that needs to be transferred, it effectively takes out one officer from active duty for a whole shift.

1. What was the reason behind failing to plan for simple things like holding cells, CCTV and toilets. Is this really the station police wanted or is this a result of police not having sufficient funds to do the job properly.

2. How many police have been allocated to the facility and what hours do they operate from.

ANSWER


Answered on 20/10/2005

The holding cells at the Humpty Doo Police Station were designed for short-term detention. It allows operational police officers to maintain the security of a prisoner prior to breath analysis, interview or transport. The glass frontage provides full visibility to police members carrying out duties in the muster room.

In compliance with the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody, the holding cells are not intended to be used as a replacement for custody at the city Watch House. The holding cells at Humpty Doo are also compliant for the purposes of short term custody in that there is an absence of ‘hanging points’ and that any persons held in the cell can be continually observed.

Closed Circuit Television Monitors are not to be used as a replacement for visual observations and physical checks.

The Humpty Doo facility was planned in conjunction with police staff and was built with possible future expansion in mind.

The current staffing level is as follows:
1 x Sergeant
4 x Constables
2 x Auxiliaries

Patrols from the station operate from 0800 to 1800hrs for day shifts and 1300 to 2300hrs for evening shifts.

Front Counter hours are 1000 to 1800hrs for week days and 0800 to 1600 during weekends.
Last updated: 04 Aug 2016