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Monthly News Bulletin

Back to 2004 News Archive

Reliance to take charge of Prisoners

A MUCH MALIGNED private security firm will take over the custodial duties at Stranraer Sheriff Court this month.

Reliance Custodial Services will take charge of prisoners appearing at the town's Sheriff Court as of Monday, 24th May.

The firm has been dogged by bad publicity since its introduction to the Scottish legal system in the Strathclyde area less than two months ago.

In their first days in charge Reliance staff accidentally released a convicted killer from custody after he swapped bail papers with a fellow prisoner. And there have been numerous gaffs by the private firm in the weeks since.

Despite that police in Dumfries and Galloway are confident the new system will be a success. Inspector Neil McLeod, based at Stranraer, has been in charge of the hand over of custody duties to Reliance.

He told the Free Press:

"Reliance have a good track record in England and Wales where they have operated for a long time now.

"It was perhaps a mistake on their part that they chose Glasgow Sheriff Court - the busiest Sheriff Court in Europe - to begin with in Scotland.

"But they will take the lessons learned from the first stage and take these into the second stage down here."

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