Durham Police HQ

Police Custody Detention Scrutiny Panel

The panel is given access to police documents to review matters of disproportionality.

The Independent Custody Detention Scrutiny Panel is made up of a group of local people selected from across the policing area, to represent the local communities in conversations with police officers and staff actively involved in the detention and custody environments.

The Panel will be given unprecedented access to material retained by the police to objectively and independently review matters of disproportionality and police/detainee behaviour in the context of legislation,guidance, policy and procedure. 

The Panel will produce regular reports that will be made available to the wider public to help improve trust and confidence in policing. 

You can read more about Police Custody Detention Scrutiny Panels here: custody-detention-scrutiny-panels-guidance_040423.pdf (apccs.police.uk).

Joy Allen with Police Officer

What will the Independent Custody Detention Scrutiny Panel do?

The objectives of the Police Detention Scrutiny Panel are to independently:

  • Assess and report on detention and custody processes.
  • Examine and challenge disproportionality in police custody in their application of police powers, notably on grounds of   race/protected characteristics
  • Conduct assessments blind of ethnicity to prevent confirmatory bias by the Panel.
  • Ensure partnership review and scrutiny of police detention procedures from start to finish, including appropriate use of   custody data.
  • Build trust and confidence with ethnic minority communities through transparency, accountability, engagement, and understanding of Criminal Justice and custody processes.
  • Make observations and recommendations to PCCs and Chief Officers.
  • Report back to the wider policing area in the form of a public facing annual report covering the findings of the in the preceding year.
  • Assist in generating a transparent product suitable for public consideration at the end of each annual panel cycle.
  • Consider wider issues where the Panel feels it could add value e.g., issues of safety and dignity.
Police Officer in Hi Viz

Topics will include (but are not limited to):

  • Strip searches
  • Remand profiles (as opposed to bail)
  • Use of force (it is acknowledged that forces may have existing processes to scrutinise use of force generally)
  • Dignity and respect
  • Length of detention
  • Access to services (e.g. language service provision; Autistic Spectrum Disorder support)
  • Mental health
  • Use of anti-rip suits/clothing
  • Other topics at the request of the Panel