Detention Officer

Job Family Operational Support
Job Sub Family Custody
Code OPS-CUST-SD-Detention Officer v1.0

Role Purpose

Assists police and custody Sergeants in processing people who have been arrested and detained in a police custody suite. The custody assistant also has responsibilities relating to the care and welfare of the detained person.

Key Accountabilities

  • Assist custody Sergeant with general admin and the running of the custody suite, as directed. Including the completion of mandatory aspects of the booking-in procedure for detainees, making best use of Force and national IT systems: searching, securing of property, taking of fingerprints, photographs, and DNA samples, if necessary by force in accordance with relevant legislation and Force policy.
  • Recognise and review all factors relating to the dignity and wellbeing of detainees to ensure these issues are given due consideration at all stages of their detention and release or transfer.
  • Prepare and serve all food and drinks, as required, for detained persons and other items as requested ensuring compliance with food hygiene regulations and maintaining the welfare and decency of the detainee.
  • Monitor the custody suite environment, reporting issues, to ensure the general cleanliness and hygiene of the custody facility.
  • Undertake searches or assist with searches of detained persons and cells to maintain a safe custody facility.
  • Undertake the gathering of biometric samples from detainees in line with legislative requirements and national and local guidance to ensure their evidential value.
  • Perform regular scheduled checks on detained persons in cells and notify the Custody Sergeant of any changes in behaviour or well-being of detainees so that any welfare concerns are identified.
  • Undertake constant monitoring of detainees, either in person or via CCTV as required by applicable legislation, to ensure the health and wellbeing of those detained.
  • Support representatives from other areas such as legal advisors, healthcare or liaison and diversion to ensure the movement and care of detainees are met and comply with legislative and national and local procedures.
  • Receive, record, care and store detainees and evidential property in compliance with force policy and data protection legislation to ensure the accurate return and/or transfer of property.
  • Assist police officers in the execution of their duties and/or restrain detainees, as directed, to ensure the safety and security of those within the facility.


All roles are expected to know, understand and act within the ethics and values of the Police Service.

The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) has six competencies that are clustered into three groups. Under each competency are three levels that show what behaviours will look like in practice.

It is suggested that this role should be operating or working towards the following levels of the CVF:

Resolute, compassionate and committed

Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership

Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Prior education and experience:

  • Successfully achieved employment through recruitment (local force criteria).


  • Good communication skills with the ability to listen to others.
  • Skilled in the use of use standard IT packages, systems and/or databases to fulfil role requirements.
  • Able to break down a straightforward problem into component parts and determine appropriate action.
  • Able to interpret and apply guidance to a specific activity.
  • Able to work effectively in a team to achieve shared objectives, demonstrating awareness of individual differences and providing support as required.
  • Able to proactively develop effective working relationships with colleagues, partners and other stakeholders.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Maintain currency of College of Policing Guidance, best practice and any local policy applicable to the operational police context.
  • Maintain and update key knowledge, understanding and skills relating to legislation policy and practice relating to Custody and detention.
  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of new approaches identified by evidence based policing research and problem solving and synthesise these into working practice.
  • Complete all annual and mandatory training.
  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of community engagement methods and opportunities and synthesise these into working practice.
  • Undertake learning and assessment related to additional policing powers conferred on them by their Chief Constable according to force needs.

Professional Registration/Licenses


Links to other Profiles

  • Escort Officer
  • Custody Sergeant
  • Custody Inspector
  • PACE Inspector
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