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PROBLEMS with capacity and transporting prisoners are some of the common issues which have come up during a pilot scheme to combine custody services in Boston and Spalding.

Prisoners who have been arrested in the South Holland area are being brought to Boston’s custody suite over the winter period, as part of a three-month cost-cutting trial to see if the area can cope with one facility.

Police have said the trial is going well overall, but there have been some teething problems with numbers and taking the prisoners from one place to another.

Chief Insp Paul Timmins, of Lincolnshire Police, said: “I am monitoring business on a daily basis. We are still in the trial period. There have been some issues around prisoner transportation and capacity issues at Boston and these are addressed on a day-by-day basis.”

The trial is part of a move to outsource a number of services in a bid to help the force slash £20 million off its budget over the next few years. Other services under consideration include the control room, human resources and legal services.

Chief Insp Timmims said it was taking place over the winter months as it was traditionally the quietest time for the custody suites,

The custody suite at Spalding has been mothballed during the trial, and police have said it ‘can be opened at a moments notice’.

The chief inspector said a strong police presence remained in South Holland.