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Custody Sgt Handbook



1 | Introduction to Custody 

2 |List Of Offences & Jail Time

3 | Questions To Ask




Custody Sgt Handbook


The role of the custody Sgt within the police force is a busy and demanding job, there will be no day that is the same. You will be dealing with a wide range of people from all walks of life on a daily basis, sometimes you will face abuse from people and other times you may not. You will support all the departments in a crucial way by ensuring you process suspects in a safe and timely manner to ensure that any suspects that come through can be interviewed, bailed, released under investigation or held on remand and jailed.


List Of Offences and Jail Time.


These are the list of the most common offences that you will come across whilst in your line of duty in custody, some of these offences will warrant serious jail time whilst some may just warrant minor time in jail or temporary hold in custody. ( Temporary hold in custody would be an option if for example CID need to interview the suspect before further action is taken against them ) Please use the time in seconds when jailing a suspect.


Murder - Being a serious crime murder would hold a maximum of 4 minutes in jail, possibly going to 5 minutes depending on if further information is required. However if the person is held in custody for a short time for CID to interview then we can total t it up and give the straight 4 minutes for the crime. 240 seconds 


Attempted Murder - 3 minutes for attempted murder 180 seconds


Theft - 2 minutes 120 seconds

Common Assault - 2 minutes in jail if serious injury has occured or if suspect is repeat offender, if not then a formal caution and temporary hold in custody to be spoken to can be fine for this. 120 seconds


ABH - 2 minutes 30 seconds 150 seconds


GBH - 3 minutes for this offence 180 seconds

Assault on an emergency worker - We do not tolerate assault on any emergency worker this will come with a total of 3 minutes 30 seconds none the departments deserve to be assaulted in the line of duty. 198 seconds


Breach of the peace - Held in custody for a minute


Threats to kill - 2 minutes for this offence in jail, with the time spent in custody it would come to around a total of 3 minutes in total. 120 seconds

Criminal Damage - Time in custody can be sufficient for this if the damage was not serious, a fine can be issued and formal caution. If the damage is serious and there are signs of planning behind the incident then jail time of 1 minute 45 seconds. 87 seconds


Possession with intent to supply - 2 minutes in jail for this offence if a large amount of drugs and cash were found. 120 seconds


Possession of a controlled substance - Depending on the substance if class C time in custody of minute is fine or a fine issued to the suspect, Class B 1 minute in Jail or issue a fine and cation and finally Class A 1 minute 45 seconds in jail. Class A 105 seconds or Class B 60 seconds


Failing to Stop for Police - This can be up to 2 minutes in jail depending on why the person failed to stop, however if any other offence has occurred then you can use the jail time for that offence. ( Using the jail time for the offence should be if the offence is more serious than the failing to stop which in fact may occur at times ) 120 seconds

Failure to provide details to a constable - No jail time needed this can be dealt with in custody, you can scan the prints of the suspect and obtain details that way. You can then look at letting the person go, if the person has committed a crime along with this then use the jail time for that crime only after you have obtained details first.

Failure to give a sample of breath/saliva at the roadside - Suspect will be brought into custody and dealt with in custody, breath/ salvia sample will be obtained in the custody suite. If another offence has occurred then the time for that offence can be used.

Driving whilst over the prescribed limit for alcohol - 1 minute 30 seconds in jail, this being as long as no other offence has been committed along with this offence. 78 seconds

Driving whilst over the prescribed limit for drugs - 1 minute 30 seconds in jail, this being as long as no other offence has been committed along with this offence. 78 seconds


Driving otherwise in accordance of a licence - Time held in custody and driving ban for this offence, if suspect is a repeat offender than jail time can be added for 1 minute 


Death by Dangerous Driving - 3 minutes 30 seconds in jail for this offence, along with a driving ban. 210 seconds


Combined offences have a maximum sentence of 180 seconds that means they will have 3 minutes in jail, please follow that time for combined offences do not go adding up the time for each offence. This will be the most common amount of time one will be jailed for as most people commit more than one offence.


Questions To Ask


As a Custody Sgt you will ask some questions when processing the suspect, you can start with speaking to the arresting officer who will provide background information to yourself regarding the arrest and from there you will do your part.


  1. Introduce yourself

  2. Ask name 

  3. Ask age and date of birth

  4. Ask any medical conditions 

  5. Ask any medication (Usually asked if they have a medical condition)

  6. Ask any thoughts of self harm or ending their live (Can be asked if past history of mental health or behaviour like this)

  7. Ask if they would like free legal advice from a solicitor that the force can contact for them.

  8. Ask if they would like a copy of PACE (Police And Criminal Evidence Act) which they can read in the cell.

  9. Ask if there is anyone they would like to contact and notify that they are in custody.


You would ask the person before placing them in a cell to remove their shoes, any jewellery, belt or hoodies if they have the string cords before placing them in the cell. This is to protect them from any harm they may cause to themselves with them but also to ensure the items are kept securely and safe so no damage comes to them.

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