1. Overview

Met Detention provides London with custody services – a single, dedicated command focussing on safety and compliance across London's custody suites. We have 25 primary custody suites across London, all operating 24 / 7, delivered by a 1,300 strong team of officers and staff, all being supported by custody experts.

Over 170,000 individuals are processed through our custody suites each year, and we need to be sure we can deliver a service to meet the demands of today's London.

We are looking for great people to join our team as Designated Detention Officers (DDOs). You don't need to have done this type of role before, instead life skills are more important than specific qualifications or working experience. You will need to have good communication skills, sound record-keeping, common sense and resilience. Above all, you'll have the desire and drive to make the custody suite a safe place to be.

With the volume of individuals processed through a custody suite each day, the importance of these roles can never be underestimated.

The Role of a DDO

DDOs play a vital role in the smooth running of our custody suites. You’ll support the Custody Sergeant in dealing with detainees that walk through our doors, with the collective aim to provide a safe custody environment in which the rights and entitlements of those detained are protected. Detainees may be facing the most difficult day of their lives when you meet them, and part of our role is to enable access to the necessary support services that may provide a lifeline to somebody in need.

No two days are the same, but on an average day you can expect to:

  • Input the details of detainees into our electronic custody system.
  • Maintain system logs in respect of activities throughout a detainee’s time in custody.
  • Cell visits and monitoring, dealing with calls for attention from detainees.
  • Taking fingerprints and footwear impressions of detainees.
  • Drug testing procedures with detainees.
  • Collection of non-intimate samples with or without detainee consent.
  • Fielding of telephone calls from those who need access to the custody suite or detainees eg. health-care professionals, solicitors, other MPS employees etc.
  • Supporting detainees with general welfare duties.
  • Arranging and delivering meals to detainees, paying regard to specific dietary requirements.
  • Attending court and providing evidence when required.
  • Providing assurance that calls are maintained and presentable for use by the next detainee.

You will work as part of a team, under the supervision of a Custody Sergeant. You’ll give each other support, and work as a family to ensure the smooth running of the custody suite. When the going gets particularly tough, you’ll appreciate the team camaraderie that makes working in this environment so unique.

Being a DDO isn’t easy, but if you can do all of the above and still shrug off your experiences at the end of the day, you’ll be rewarded with an immensely satisfying job that’s never dull, as well as the opportunity to make a real difference to the community and London itself.

Do you have a say in where and when you work?

We operate 24/7, 365 days of the year, so you will work to a shift pattern. We work to one shift pattern across the custody suites, where you’ll work 12 hour shifts with rest days. The typical shift pattern looks as follows:

Week 1 2 3 4
Mon D R R N
Tue D R R N
Wed N D R R
Thu N D R R
Fri R N D R
Sat R N D R
Sun R N D R

D = Day Shift
N = Night Shift
R = Rest Day

Working a shift pattern does attract payment of a Shift Disturbance Allowance. We’ll talk to you about this more throughout the recruitment process.

We have vacancies across London. During the recruitment process, you will be asked some preference information around where you’d like to be posted to help inform our decision making. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate your preferences as operational requirements will inform where we need to post new joiners, but we will endeavour to work with your preference where possible.