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Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are appointed by the Police and Crime Commissioner and support him in holding the Chief Constable to account.
Independent Custody Visiting is a statutory requirement of Police & Crime Commissioners, providing independent oversight of the detention of people in police custody.
ICV recommendations can require the police to make improvements for the welfare of detainees. Therefore, they play a valuable role in maintaining public confidence in this important area of policing.
ICVs are members of the local community who volunteer to check on the welfare of people detained in police custody. They are completely independent.
Despite the Covid-19 Pandemic, ICVs continued to offer welfare checks to detainees and conducted 147 visits in person or telephone calls directly to detainees. The scheme ran throughout the lockdown periods, reverting to a remote visiting scheme, ensuring over 300 detainees still received welfare checks.
The documents and reports from the Independent Custody Visitor volunteers who have been appointed by the Police & Crime Commissioner are detailed below.
Find out from our volunteers why they chose to become Independent Custody visitors.
My role as an ICV helps me put something back into the community; I feel I am making a real difference.
As part of the role, I visit custody suites to ensure detainees are trated with respect. ICVs are non-judgemental and ensure that all those in custody are treated fairly.
When I retired, I wanted to remain mentally active and be involved in something different from the work I had done in my career.
I also recognised that interaction with people had been an important and enjoyable feature in my life and volunteering presented an opportunity for me to maintain this.
The ICV role involves dealing with people who are in custody and in many cases have complex lives and personal difficulties. In addition, the interaction with the Police and Detention Officers requires good communication skills, tact and resilience. I believe that I have developed through professional, and life experiences the ability to deal with such challenging situations. This was an opportunity to use those skills and experiences.
You never complete the ICV role alone. The team of 12 volunteers visit each of the Custody Suite locations – Runcorn, Middlewich and Blacon. Each of these volunteers come from different backgrounds, and this mix of experience results rewarding and enjoyable interaction experiences with people.
Visits are always carried out in pairs on a rota basis resulting in visits with different people. Visits can be arranged at the ICV’s convenience and typically take an hour to complete. So it is not time consuming. Initial training is provided and additional training is provided if and when needed. I have always found that working in pairs to be a positive experience with that help and support of a partner.
On a personal level, the interaction with detainees gives me a sense of satisfaction in that I may have helped someone deal with, the most traumatic experience in their lives.
The assurance given to the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Police from my observations is also a positive aspect from a personal satisfaction perspective.
This is a great opportunity to do something different, interesting and rewarding. If you work, it will give you a change from the day to day work. If you don’t work it will provide an activity to enhance your life, using your valuable skills and experience. I would encourage anyone to give it a try!
If you are interested in becoming an Independent Custody Visitor, please leave us your details here and we will contact you when we have any vacancies.
Alternatively, for an informal chat contact [email protected]
The PDFs on this page may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Please email us to request an accessible version. See our accessibility statement.