The main set of standards for custody is the Authorised Professional Practice, which is written and published by the College of Policing following consultation with a range of stakeholders.

The Detention and Custody Authorised Professional Practice provides guidance for related activity, and is currently broken down into a number of sections. These include healthcare provision, arrest, detention and transportation, risk assessment, control, restraint and searches, detainee care, equality and individual needs, children and young people, mental ill health and learning disabilities, alcohol and drugs, deaths in custody and successful interventions, buildings and facilities, and CCTV. The Detention and Custody Authorised Professional Practice is being updated. The current version is available on the College of Policing website.

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act and the related Legislation and Codes of Practice govern custody standards, provide detailed contents regarding custody activity, and are the main legal framework governing activity within custody centres. PACE Code of Practice C in particular includes the requirements for the detention, treatment and questioning of suspects in police custody. As well as requirements to share and provide information to other statutory partners, such as specific ‘MG forms’ and case papers to the judiciary and criminal justice partners.  There is also a requirement to service other agreed or implied information capture needs, such as to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency or health professionals.  Although progress in terms of digitisation is being made across criminal justice and public sector partner agencies, standards are fragmented, forms-centric and still rely on varied requirements and formats imposed by other organisations.  Examples include:

  • I24/7 (Interpol Checks)
  • ACRO Checks (Foreign nationals)
  • Transfers – PER forms (MoJ)
  • RIPA
  • PNC Updates
  • Applications to Local Authorities, UKBA, DWP (and other government agencies)
  • Youth Offender teams
  • NHS
  • Drugs Intervention Programme referral