The welfare of vulnerable people in police custody

In January 2014, the Home Secretary commissioned HMIC to carry out an inspection on the welfare of vulnerable people in police custody. This work included, but was not limited to, those with mental health problems, those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and children.

This inspection highlights good practice, identifies areas for improvement and makes national recommendations.

Get the report

The welfare of vulnerable people in police custody

The inspection

The inspection sought to answer the following question:

How effective are police services at identifying and responding to vulnerabilities and associated risks to the welfare of detainees in police custody?

To answer this question we did a number of things, including:

  • looking at other recent national reports and investigations that have been concerned with vulnerability in police custody;
  • making six unannounced inspections of police custody arrangements; these were part of our rolling programme of custody inspections that we carry out with HM Inspectorate of Prisons; and
  • designing a specific project to find out about the experiences of people who have been detained in police custody.

We set up an expert reference group to assist us with this work.

Read more about our approach to carrying out this work and the terms of reference and membership of our expert reference group.