Police custody is one of the most challenging of police environments, with the treatment of prisoners a particular source of public and media concern, especially regarding deaths in police custody, and where, as a consequence, every action by staff is recorded audibly and visually. These kinds of issues render staff vulnerable to poor well-being (where well-being is measured in terms of behavioural and/or psychosocial goals, low work-related stress, mental and subjective well-being, energy and engagement). To explore these issues an integrated multilevel model of organisational culture and climate (IMMOCC) was developed as the basis for a multilevel survey (including space for open comments at the end). This has targeted four roles of Custody Inspector, Custody Sergeant, Detention Officer (public and private) and Custody Officer Assistant. Initial results support the IMMOCC approach, and draw attention to three key findings:
While analyses are continuing, this has been a two year study into police custody staff well-being across seven police forces (i.e. four surveys, each five months apart). It has applied a multi-strategy approach involving a multilevel survey (with space for open comments at the end), use of an advisory group, and constant feedback to custody personnel at every stage of the research. Analytic strategies include: multilevel analysis; theoretical thematic analysis; and multiple case study analysis. Study engagement over the two years has numbered 330 people (a return rate of 46.15%), which provided a data set of 368.