An appeal for volunteers;

INDEPENDENT CUSTODY VISITORS – VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED

We are currently looking for new members for Norfolk’s Independent Custody Visiting (ICV) Scheme.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Norfolk has a statutory responsibility to establish and manage an Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.

Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are members of the local community who volunteer to visit Norfolk’s Police Investigation Centres (PICs), unannounced and in pairs, to check on the treatment and welfare of people held in police custody.

They play a valuable role in maintaining public confidence in this important area of policing.

There is a panel of visitors allocated to each of the four Norfolk PICs (Aylsham, Great Yarmouth, Kings Lynn and Wymondham) who make visits on a weekly basis to make sure that detainees are treated fairly and with respect.

A short report of their findings is made prior to leaving the PIC which provides assurance for the PCC that anyone detained by the police and held in custody is treated fairly and has access to appropriate facilities.  Copies of the reports are provided for the police, the PCC and the ICVs’ local panel for discussion and follow-up.

An Independent Custody Visitor (ICV) does not need to know why a person is being detained in custody, and they do not talk to those held about the reason for their detention or follow up on what happens subsequently.  The role is purely objective and ensures that the detainees’ legal rights have been offered and explained.

Strict rules of confidentiality apply.  Detainees are identified only by their custody numbers and the details of what visitors see and hear must also be treated as confidential.

It is equally important that ICVs maintain their independence and impartiality and do not become involved or take sides.  They are there to look, listen and report on conditions in the custody facility.

ICVs are unpaid, but receive allowances to cover travelling expenses.  They must be over 18 years of age, reside or work in Norfolk and have no direct involvement in the criminal justice system – this is to prevent possible conflicts of interests for the individual and maintains the independence of the Scheme.

The role involves visiting on all days of the week and at all times of day and night to ensure that custody facilities are visited across a broad spectrum of their working hours.

Those interested in becoming an Independent Custody Visitor can obtain an application pack by contacting the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk by telephone 01953 423851 or by emailICVAdministrator@norfolk.pnn.police.uk

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