Introduction

Where does the term “Safer Detention” come from?

The term ‘Safer Detention’ is taken from the title of a Home Office and ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) document entitled: 
 
“GUIDANCE ON THE SAFER DETENTION & HANDLING OF PERSONS IN POLICE CUSTODY”
 
Following a lengthy period of research and consultation, this guidance document was published in 2006 by the National Centre for Policing Excellence (NCPE) and sets out the legal framework within which the police must operate to tackle crime and ensure the protection of the public while safeguarding their wellbeing. A second edition of this document followed in 2012. In September 2013, the Guidance was superseded in it’s entirety by ’Authorised Professional Practice’ (APP), issued by the College of Policing.
 
In  a similar manner to the original guidance, the new APP focuses on practical issues and provides a definitive guide on how police forces should put in place strategic and operational policies to help raise the standards of custodial care for those who come into contact with the police. 
 
APP should also be adopted by Private Sector companies contracted to perform custodial duties.
 
Modern day policing places great emphasis on ‘Citizen Focus’ and ‘Customer Satisfaction’ - indeed the Police Service is now measured against these important criteria. While any ‘Death in Custody’ will have a devastating effect on the family of the deceased and the staff involved, the impact of such an event on the public’s confidence in the police cannot be overlooked.
 
The Police Service and its Private Sector partners have a ‘Duty of Care’ towards individuals taken into custody, and our communities have every right to demand that they are properly cared for whilst detained.
 
The opportunity for managers from both sectors to provide their staff with effective training should not be overlooked.
 
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