COVID-19 – The General Controller of Places of Deprivation of Liberty (CGLPL) Dominique Simonnot issued this Tuesday, September 21, six recommendations to improve conditions of custody in police premises, denouncing their “total indignity” during the period of health crisis.
Between November 2020 and July 2021, the CGLPL visited 17 police stations in Paris, Ile-de-France and the regions to ensure that the material conditions of reception of persons deprived of their liberty complied with government requirements related to the Covid-19 epidemic.
“Inadmissible in ordinary times, these conditions of promiscuity and hygiene are even more so in times of health crisis”, alarms Dominique Simonnot.
It denounces the promiscuity of premises “often unsuitable and unworthy” which make it impossible to respect barrier gestures or “structurally unworthy” hygiene conditions marked by “pestilential odors” and “the accumulation of grime”.
No protocol during the health crisis
It notes, for example, the sharing of mattresses “almost never cleaned and even less disinfected”, the provision of a personal protective mask “almost never renewed” during deprivation of liberty – the government recommends a change every four hours – and the ‘limited access to hydroalcoholic gel.
According to the CGLPL, “no particular protocol has been put in place in the context of the health crisis”, such as the regular disinfection of the premises, a specific cleaning of the contact areas or a latency period between two uses of a cell. .
In his recommendations sent to the Ministry of the Interior, Dominique Simonnot urges the administration to equip itself with custody and detention facilities “sized in proportion to judicial activity” and “kept in a good state of repair, maintenance and hygiene ”, while ensuring“ permanent ”access to hygiene kits supplied“ without restrictions ”.
Rehabilitate and improve the hygiene of the premises
“The recurring nature of the shortcomings identified as well as the lack of improvement in this situation over the past ten years require that a comprehensive policy to rehabilitate police premises and improve hygiene be put in place today. ”, Recommends in conclusion the CGLPL.
All the recommendations of the CGLPL are published this Tuesday, September 21 at Official newspaper.
In his response, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin rejected the term “total indignity” used to qualify the reception conditions in the police stations, deeming it “too categorical and too general” and based “on the visit of a limited number of premises ”.
The obligation to treat persons held in police custody with dignity is “rigorously respected in the vast majority of situations”, he assured, nevertheless acknowledging “that there are premises, rare however, whose material situation does not exist. ‘is not satisfactory ”.
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