Do you have what it takes to be an Independent Custody Visitor?
ICVs help monitor the conditions in police custody and the welfare of detainees.
Under the scheme, volunteers are required to visit custody areas in police stations to visit and speak with detainees, observe the conditions they are being kept in, and check that their welfare and human rights are being protected, particularly in the cases of juvenile and other vulnerable prisoners.
Volunteers are also involved in helping to shape the programme, by sharing their ideas and experience from visits to enhance the conditions in custody. The scheme is critical in both protecting the welfare of detainees, supporting Essex Police to deliver the best service possible in custody and in reassuring the public through the external monitoring and scrutiny carried out by the volunteers.
The OPCC currently runs the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme, which is a programme that all PCCs are required to deliver by law. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE OPCC ARE NOT CURRENTLY RECRUITING VOLUNTEERS.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Our Independent Custody Visitor Scheme is absolutely essential in ensuring that the treatment and rights of individuals being detained are respected.
“It also offers an important protection for detainees and police, and wider reassurance to the public, in ensuring that good and fair practice are maintained.”
Custody visitors must not have any links to the criminal justice system to prevent a conflict of interest.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can complete a simple application form and provide the names of two referees. All applicants will be subject to a criminal record check. Training is then provided.
Custody visitors will be appointed for a three-year period, subject to completion of probation and review. The role is not paid but reasonable expenses incurred during visits will be reimbursed by the OPCC.