Designated Detention Officers

The custody suite is at the heart of the police station. Working there as a Designated Detention Officer, you’ll need to be alert at all times, thinking on your feet and making quick decisions. It can definitely be challenging. But it can be incredibly rewarding and varied too, with great support from everyone else on the team.

Make a real difference

Designated Detention Officers are playing an increasingly important part in the way custody suites are run. There’s real scope to make a positive difference. You’ll not only help in the smooth running of the station, but also provide a lifeline to detainees who are facing one of the most difficult times of their lives.

What does the job involve?

Detainees will be your responsibility from the moment they're brought to the station. You'll book them in, take their fingerprints and photographs, record their possessions and make sure they're secure in a cell. During their time in custody, you'll take them food, make regular cell checks and, if possible, help them to rehabilitate. There will also be phone calls to answer, solicitors to deal with and a whole host of other things to see to.

Have I got what it takes?

Life skills are more important than specific qualifications. If we think you have what it takes, we'll give you six weeks' training to help you begin a very worthwhile career. You'll need to able to stand up for yourself and deal with confrontational situations. A thick skin will come in very handy too.

But you’ll never be alone – there will always be regular police officers and other support staff on hand to help you in a tricky situation. And when the going gets particularly tough, you'll appreciate the camaraderie that makes working for the Met so unique.


Successful candidates will undertake an intensive 6 week foundation course, which is assessed throughout and is a pass or fail course. You will receive training on all aspects of your role and where it sits within the Criminal Justice System; on relevant legislation and your designated powers; on officer safety techniques and emergency life support skills to name but a few. There will be other mandatory courses you will have to attend/undertake as part of your ongoing professional development.


Various locations across London, however, there are limited vacancies in the South East area. A posting preference form will be provided during the selection process and will highlight where the current vacancies are. Your preferences will be taken into consideration, however location of posting will be based on current business requirement.

Hours of Work

Met Detention works to a corporate shift pattern, which standardises service delivery across all of its 24/7 operational custody suites. You will be part of a shift based team, working 12 hours a day, with rest days. You will be expected to work nights.

Pay and benefits

On appointment of your standard contract, you will receive a starting salary of £22,052 per annum. In addition you will receive a London Location Allowance of £3,406 (Zone 1) or £1,807 (Zone 2). Upon completion of training you will receive a 20% shift disturbance allowance.

Annual incremental spine points will achieve progression from minimum to maximum of the pay scale currently £24,550.

For full details, please view the pay & benefits page in the police staff section.

How to apply

To apply, please download a role specific information pack and application form.

Completed applications must be returned by 4pm on 16 February 2017.

Please note we are only able to review the first 800 applications received.

We view diversity as fundamental to our success. To tackle today’s complex policing challenges, we need a workforce made up from all of London’s communities. Applications from across the community are therefore essential.