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Designated Detention Officers

Salary: c. £21,709 plus location and shift allowance (this is based on a 24/7 rota).
You will receive £21,709 the band minimum plus location and shift allowance on recruitment. Progress to the band maximum of £24,255 will be via incremental progression.

There have been some big changes recently in the way custody suites are run at stations throughout the Met. As part of a long-term programme of reform, we've therefore set out to improve the processing of detainees, improve safety (for both detainees and officers) and provide an even better professional service to the public.

Designated Detention Officers are playing an increasingly important role in the improved system - and we're now looking to significantly increase their number. It's a challenging but exceptionally varied and rewarding role carried out by police staff. They 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.

Detainees come from all cultures and backgrounds. They could have been arrested for anything from being drunk and disorderly to having been suspected of robbery or murder. And they can be in a cell for a couple of hours or overnight. If you have respect for race and diversity, and sensitivity towards different cultures, the role offers the chance to put your people skills to the ultimate test.

What's it like in a custody suite?

We're not going to pretend otherwise, it's not always pleasant. Detainees can be frightened, upset, abusive and sometimes aggressive. They may feel their arrest is unfair and unjust. They might be drunk or under the influence of drugs. Their language can be colourful and they could resent you for the job you do. They might also self-harm or make a mess of their cell.

So you'll need to able to be able to stand up for yourself and deal with stressful, difficult and confrontational situations. You'll need to be thick-skinned and able to shrug off any bad experiences at the end of your shift and think tomorrow is another day.

But you'll never be on your own. You will have the appropriate training to deal with these situations and 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.

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 personal possessions and make sure they're secure in a cell. During their time in custody, you'll take them food, make regular cell checks; strike up a bond 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.

Life skills are more important than specific qualifications. A strong customer focus is essential and you should have an interest in police work. People from many different backgrounds make successful Designated Detention Officers. If we think you have what it takes, we'll give you six weeks' training to help you begin a very worthwhile career.

How to apply?
We are not currently recruiting for DDOs. Please regularly check the website for any future updates.


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.


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