Municipality of the District of Shelburne No Longer Providing Lock-Up Services

Shelburne, Nova Scotia — May 10, 2022 — The Municipality of the District of Shelburne has made the decision to no longer provide Lock-Up services as a result of a recent inspection conducted on March 3, 2022. Shelburne is the last Municipality in the Province of Nova Scotia to provide lock-up services, a service that is typically provided by the police of a jurisdiction.

“Due to the costs to upgrade the lock-up to meet the new provincial standards, along with the high-risk liability associated with operating such a facility, Council made the decision to no longer provide this service,” says Warden Penny Smith. “These types of decisions are never easy as they impact employees and services to our community,” says Warden Smith, adding that Council will continue dialogue with the RCMP and the Province as they advocate to help ensure lock-up services are provided in Shelburne County.

Since receiving the report from the recent inspection, Municipal staff have been meeting with representatives of the RCMP and the Province to discuss potential short-term and long-term solutions. In light of the deficiencies noted in the report, the Shelburne RCMP conducted a review of its continued use of the Lock-Up. Without renovations to remedy the noted deficiencies, RCMP made the decision to discontinue use of the facility. As a result of the RCMP decision, the Municipality’s primary paying client, the difficult decision was made to close the facility effective May 16, 2022.

This change has affected both the Shelburne and Barrington RCMP Detachments; however, alternate arrangements have been made for the Shelburne and Barrington RCMP Detachments to transport those in custody to other jurisdictions for safe holding while in custody. The RCMP Detachment in Barrington is in the process of upgrading their two lock-up cells as part of the short-term solutions.

On May 10, 2022, the Municipality of Shelburne met with the union of those employed at the Lock-Up and notified them of the decision to close the cells. Three full-time employees and one casual lock-up guard received layoff notices.
“Our partnership with the Municipality of the District of Shelburne and the Shelburne Lock-Up has continued to provide a safe place for those that our officers arrest and hold in cells. We take the safety of those arrested by our officers very seriously. While this change will mean that prisoners will no longer be held in cells in Shelburne, the RCMP will continue to provide high-quality policing to the residents and communities of Shelburne County moving forward.” says Supt. Dan Morrow, Southwest Nova District RCMP Policing Officer.

The Department of Justice confirms court services and related operations will continue in the area.

Media Contact:
Trudy Payne, CAO
(902) 875-3544 ext. 223