Custody staff must complete a Person Escort Record (PER) form and ensure the form accompanies a detainee who is being transferred from a custody suite. This includes transfer to:
any other police station (in any force area)
UK Immigration and Visas or agent
Border Force or agent.
The PER form must be signed by the custody officer responsible for transferring the detainee. When using other means of transport including aircraft, trains, boats or other public transport, control measures must be sufficient to protect the public from harm, ensure the safety of the detainee and comply with individual carriers’ own requirements.
Officers responsible for any movement of a detainee should be fully briefed on any heightened risk or increased vulnerabilities that have been identified for that detainee prior to departure. There must be constant supervision and monitoring if officers and staff have any concerns relating to the detainee’s physical or mental health, including where the detainee:
is drunk and incapable
is believed or known to have swallowed or packed drugs
is violent or known to be violent
is believed or known to be at risk of suicide or self-harm
has increased susceptibility to positional asphyxia.
An ambulance must be called for any detainee who appears to be unconscious or requires urgent medical assessment.
A risk assessment determines the level of restraint and number of escorts required to convey the detainee. It should include:
established actions of the person prior to police intervention
actions after contact with police, particularly their level of violence/PNC warning markers
allegations by others about the detainee
information from friends and family
condition of the detainee
history of violence, in addition to the above sources
extent and result of search of the detainee
detainee’s use of weapons on this or previous occasions
assessment of escape risk
length of journey
This list is not exhaustive and officers should consider all relevant factors so that the most appropriate control measures can be adopted.
Special arrangements may be necessary for high-risk detainees. Officers should seek advice in cases where an identified risk requires special security measures. Use of armed officers to support movement must be carried out in accordance with APP on armed policing.
See also detainee care, medical emergencies and Mental health – detention – Transfer and supervision.
In exceptional circumstances, such as a known or anticipated long delay in the arrival of the ambulance, it may be appropriate to use a police vehicle to take the detainee to hospital. If the detainee requires first aid, it should be given by suitably qualified staff. Forces should only consider using a police vehicle in such circumstances where a risk assessment indicates that it is the most appropriate course of action. This should be recorded on the custody record and include consideration of the vehicle to be used and the staffing arrangements.
Where a police vehicle is used to transport a detained person to hospital on behalf of or in the absence of NHS professionals, the force should conduct a full review of the circumstances.
The NHS Ambulance Service Protocol requires ambulances services across the country to transport all Mental Health Act section 136 detainees unless the individual is so violent that it is unsafe to do so. Where this is the case, the ambulance should accompany the police vehicle with a member of ambulance staff travelling in the police vehicle.