West Yorkshire Police has improved its custody services, but further changes needed

West Yorkshire Police has made improvements to its custody services, but progress in some areas has been limited since its last inspection, a report has found.

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Report on an inspection visit to police custody suites in West Yorkshire Police

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that West Yorkshire Police has clear governance arrangements for the provision of custody.

However, HMICFRS and CQC said that some concerns from the force’s previous inspection haven’t been addressed well enough, especially around the use of force.

The inspectorates have two main causes of concern, which are:

  • the force doesn’t use performance information well enough to make sure it achieves good outcomes for detainees; and
  • governance and oversight of use of force in custody is not good enough and quality assurance of incidents does not provide effective scrutiny.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Michelle Skeer said:

“Anyone detained in custody should be treated fairly and kept safe from harm.

“West Yorkshire Police has a clear governance arrangement for its custody services. Frontline officers have a good understanding of what can make a person vulnerable, and the force works well with mental health services to support people with mental ill health. Custody personnel treat detainees with politeness and respect.

“However, in some areas progress has been limited and there remain two areas of concern. These include governance and oversight of the use of force in custody, as well as the use of data to improve custody services, with some key areas of custody not being monitored.

“We will be working closely with West Yorkshire Police and monitoring its progress against our new recommendations.”

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Report on an inspection visit to police custody suites in West Yorkshire Police


  1. For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 0300 071 6781 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk