The Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services is required by Section 19 of the Inspector of Custodial Services Act 2003 (WA) to inspect each Western Australia court custody centre and prescribed lock-up at least once every three years. This is the report of an inspection of those sites in 2020 and 2021.
Under our inspection mandate, court custody centres are those parts of court premises that are inaccessible to members of the public and where persons in custody are detained. Prescribed lock-ups are usually facilities that double as a police lock-up when the court is not sitting.
All the court custody centres in Western Australia (except Perth Children’s Court) are managed for the Department of Justice (the Department) by private contractors under two main contracts. The first contract covers the court custody centres in the Central Law Courts building and the District Court Building, co- located in the Perth Central Business District (CBD). This CBD Courts Contract is managed by the Western Liberty Group Consortium (WLG) and the sub-contractor G4S Custodial Services Pty Ltd (G4S).
The second contract covers the remaining metropolitan and regional court custody centres and includes the Fiona Stanley Hospital Secure Facility. In May 2020, management of this Court Security and Custodial Services (CSCS) Contract transferred from Broadspectrum Pty. Lid. (BRS) to Ventia Services Group (Ventia). The sub-contractor Wilson Security Pty Ltd provided security services in the metropolitan courts.
Between December 2020 and July 2021 members of our inspection team visited all metropolitan courts, the Fiona Stanley Hospital Secure Facility, and the eight regional courts with custody centres or lock-ups.
Before the site visits, we invited relevant staff from the CBD contractors, the CSCS contractors, and the Department to complete a survey asking about their working conditions, and their interactions with management, stakeholders and people in custody.
At each site, we spoke with contractor staff, court staff, and people in custody. At most sites, we also spoke with those officers of the Western Australian Police Force who had dealings with the court.