Independent Custody Visitor
Independent Custody Visiting is a statutory requirement of Police & Crime Commissioners, providing independent oversight of the detention of people in police custody. ICVs recommendations can require the police to make improvements for the welfare of detainees and, 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.
Between April 2018 and March 2019, Cheshire ICVs made a total of 151 unannounced visits to custody suites across Cheshire offering to check on the welfare of 1776 detainees in police custody. During such visits, a total of 578 individuals consented to be visited by ICVs of they were able to accept. Some detainees cannot be selected due to various reasons such as being asleep, in interview or medically unwell.
We currently have a number of experienced and dedicated volunteers who work hard to ensure standards are high and that members of the public are well-serviced. Both the OPCC and David Keane PCC, are very grateful for their continued hard work and service.
David said “Independent Custody Visitors gain a unique insight into police custody and provide the public with confidence that the police treat individuals lawfully and with respect when detained in police custody. ICVs act as ‘critical friends’ providing me with invaluable feedback on the welfare of detainees from an independent, impartial and non-discriminatory view of all parties involved in the custody visiting process.”
Stella Lappin, Independent Custody Visitor, said: “My role as an ICV helps me put something back into the community; I feel like I’m making a real difference. As part of the role, I visit custody suites to ensure detainees are treated with respect. ICVs are non-judgemental and ensure that all those in custody are treated fairly.”
Volunteer Independent Custody Visitor, Steve Wong, and PCC David Keane give us an overview of how ICVs are supporting detainees in Cheshire police custody suites in the video below:
If you are interested in becoming an Independent Custody Visitor, please contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 01606 364000 or send an email.