Custody Sergeant

Job Family Operational Support
Job Sub Family Custody
Code OPS-CUST-TL-Custody Sergeant v1.0

Role Purpose

Manages the custody suite, including the care and welfare of detained persons and takes the decision to authorise or refuse the detention of any persons presented before them.
Ensures that while detainees are at the custody suite, police officers and police staff adhere to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) Codes of Practice regarding the rights and treatment of persons arrested.

Key Accountabilities

  • Implement all relevant legislation and apply policies and procedures to ensure high standards of security and safety are maintained within the Custody Suite.
  • Assist in the accurate and prompt maintenance of manual and computerised custody records, including undertaking Quality Assurance as needed, to ensure the integrity of data held and compliance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and the PACE Codes of Practice and other applicable legislation and local and national guidance.
  • 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.
  • Oversee/manage the process of completing antecedent forms, obtain fingerprints, photographs, and DNA and other biometric samples from detained persons, as directed, ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation and local and national guidance.
  • Oversee/manage the process of searching each cell before and after use to detect and arrange the repair of any damage caused, reporting and following correct procedures to maintain a safe custody facility.
  • Oversee/manage the process of physical searching of Detainees, retaining and recording personal possessions and ensuring compliance with legislation and national and local policies and procedures.
  • Undertake reviews of detention, chasing progress of investigation, reporting information to PACE Inspector to ensure that detainees are being detained in line with legislation, including appropriate Release Under Investigation (RUI), bail and disposal decisions.
  • Supervise visits by official representatives/agencies and ensure visits by relatives are continuously monitored to maintain security in the custody facility, in compliance with policy.
  • 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.
  • Undertake, on an ongoing basis, risk assessments of all detainees entering the custody suite in order to mitigate threat, risk and harm to detainees and custody staff.
  • Undertake a risk assessment prior to the release of all detainees to mitigate threat, risk and harm to detainees and members of the public.
  • Identify and mitigate against any potential organisational risks relating to the custody suite to minimise the impact on the both the force and custody suite.
  • Monitor health and safety risks within the custody suite, taking action as appropriate to mitigate against potential health and safety risks in the custody suite.
  • Supervise the custody suite team, managing their wellbeing and welfare, development and ensuring high levels of motivation to ensure the effective running of a custody suite.
  • Supervise or lead the briefing of staff at shift change overs and other appropriate times to ensure that key information relating to the custody suite is relayed and that handovers are carried out in a suitable fashion.


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:

  • Operational experience at Constable Level.
  • Met all necessary local and national promotion requirements (or Direct Entry selection criteria) as defined in the National Police Promotions Framework (NPPF) or previous OSPRE process.


  • Able to set out logical arguments clearly, adapting language, form and message to meet the needs of different people / audiences.
  • Able to manage the introduction of new business processes or ways of working at team level.
  • Able to identify cause and effect and develop a course of action designed to target root causes and mitigate risks.
  • Able to develop and motivate a team and create strong engagement of individuals with their personal and team objectives and with Force values, behaviours and strategic priorities.
  • Able to review and assess individual and team performance against expected standards, providing objective and effective feedback and ensuring corrective actions are taken where necessary.
  • Able to plan ahead; to allocate work appropriately within the team and to identify and mitigate risks to delivery.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of Police Regulations and College of Policing Guidance, best practice and any local policy applicable to the operational police context and leading and managing teams
  • Maintain and update key knowledge, understanding and skills relating to legislation policy and practice across all functional policing areas of operational responsibility.
  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of new approaches identified by evidence based policing research and problem solving and team working and synthesise these into working practice.
  • Maintain a working knowledge and understanding of new and evolving crime threats and priorities; and current best practice to tackle these in order to enable a pro-active and preventative approach.
  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of performance management process and ensure they are implemented effectively when managing teams.
  • Complete all annual and mandatory training.

Professional Registration/Licenses


Links to other Profiles

  • Escort Officer
  • Detention Officer
  • Custody Inspector
  • PACE Inspector
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