Custody services in a COVID-19 environment

Published on: 20 April 2021


In March 2020, we suspended all inspection work so that police forces, and fire and rescue services could focus on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our inspection took a snapshot of policing during the pandemic and looked at what happened from March to November 2020.

Our inspection assessed how policing:

  • understood and prepared for the potential and actual impact of the pandemic;
  • responded initially, and continues to respond, to the pandemic; and
  • is evaluating its response to the pandemic, establishing what is and is not working and using this to shape how the police service operates.

Our report Policing in the pandemic: The police response to the COVID-19 pandemic was published in April 2021.

This report supplements the wider inspection with more detailed findings on how custody services operated in a COVID-19 environment. It aims to:

  • increase the police service’s national and local understanding of how custody services operate in a COVID-19 environment;
  • show how services have been/are affected and how police forces are responding; and
  • establish what improvements forces and the wider Criminal Justice System can make.

This report sets out our findings.

Get the report

Custody services in a COVID-19 environment (HTML) Custody services in a COVID-19 environment (PDF document, 345kB) (PDF document, 345 kB)

Get the press release

Police generally responded well to exceptional circumstances of pandemic