Volunteers needed to check on police custody facilities | Knutsford Times

Volunteers needed to check on police custody facilities

By on October 29, 2018

David Keane, the police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, is looking to recruit volunteers across Cheshire to help him ensure detainees in police custody are being treated fairly.

David is seeking volunteers to join his Independent Custody Visiting Scheme to assess the effectiveness of the police custody facilities in Cheshire, whilst gaining a real insight into how important policing operations work.

ICVs are usually members of the local community who volunteer to check on the welfare of people detained in police custody. They play a valuable role in maintaining public confidence in this important area of policing and can make recommendations for the police to make improvements for the welfare of detainees.

Police and crime commissioners are required by law to engage Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) to provide an independent oversight of the detention of people in police custody.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, Cheshire ICVs made a total of 150 unannounced visits to custody suites across Cheshire offering to check on the welfare of 1,189 detainees in police custody. During such visits, a total of 596 individuals consented to be visited by ICVs.

David said “Independent Custody Visitors play an extremely important role, informing me whether the constabulary is upholding the high standards we expect from them.

“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, a current Independent Custody Visitor, added: “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.”

Successful applicants will be appointed to one of three panels and will undertake random, unannounced visits of police cells to ensure those individuals detained are being cared for appropriately by checking on the conditions and talking with willing detainees.

An ICV will be expected to make a visit once every six weeks at one of Cheshire Police’s custody suites situated in Middlewich, Runcorn and Chester.

More information about the role, including eligibility requirements, is available on the Cheshire PCC website: https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-im-doing/get-involved/volunteers/custody-visitor-role-profile/

The closing date for applications is 9am on Monday 12 November 2018.

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email news@knutsfordtimes.co.uk

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