Reports of prisoners attending court in underwear ‘may have been misunderstood’

The High Court in Edinburgh.
The High Court in Edinburgh.
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Reports that prisoners were forced to attend court in their underwear have been cast under doubt after it was claimed that the reports may have been a misunderstanding.

Last week, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIPS) slammed what it called “unacceptable practices” after prisoners were observed arriving for court appearances from police custody without being properly dressed.

READ MORE: Prisoners arriving for court dressed in their underwear

However, such reports have now been cast into doubt after it was reported that such claims may have been ‘misunderstood’.

According to reports, a prisoner described as being in nightwear had, in fact, insisted on wearing a “onsie” jumpsuit.

Newly appointed Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “I won’t try to make any excuses when our officers treat any member of the public with less than the respect that they deserve.

“However, in these particular sets of circumstances there were some issues around our ability to check that report for factual accuracy before it was published.

“As a consequence some of the material that was published - when I spoke to the custody division - was not their interpretation of the facts on the ground.”

Sources suggested that HMIP officers may have seen a prisoner without shoes during transportation however, that does not mean that they enter court in such a state,

David Hamilton, vice chair of the Scottish Police Federation, said: “HMIPS have made a gratuitous passing comment. Police Scotland should have had the opportunity to fact check.”