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WELSH JAILS RAPPED FOR TORTURE ACTS.

Byline: BRENDON WILLIAMS

POLICE across Wales are torturing young prisoners and suspects in their cells, a human rights watchdog claimed yesterday.

Suspects are assaulted by officers who also delay their access to legal advice, according to a damning report.

The probe by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) also claimed Cardiff Central police station's cells were "dirty and poorly ventilated".

The CPT's investigation singled out Welsh officers for censure after claims of assaults against prisoners.

And two jails - Parc Prison in Bridgend, south Wales, and nearby Hillside Security Centre in Neath - were named and shamed.

HMP Parc has been dogged by suicides, a hostage-taking, riots and an escape bid since it opened in 1997.

The report said: "A number of young persons interviewed at both Parc Prison and Hillside Secure Centre alleged they had been ill-treated by officers in different parts of Wales."

The investigation was carried out in February last year, but only just published.

An inspection of Cardiff central police station found its cells were "dirty and poorly ventilated".

The government yesterday admitted that conditions in police cells were "not up to the desired standard".

But they said chief constables in Wales "are anxious to make it clear that inappropriate treatment of detained persons is not acceptable".

In a statement the government added: "All Welsh forces have reviewed, or are reviewing, detention facilities."

Director of human rights group Liberty John Wadham said: "The CPT raises real issues about the basic fair treatment of people in police custody - particularly in Wales."

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SHAME: Parc Prison was highlighted in shocking report
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 22, 2002
Words:272
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