A Blog By Natalie Hill, Independent Custody Visitor. – Getting changed in the bathroom after work. – Having a snack before you leave (you could be out a while!). – Getting home during the early hours of the morning. These are just a handful of things that a night out with your friends in your twenties can have in common with being an Independent Custody Visitor (ICV). However, there is one big difference – as an ICV, I am able to give back to my local community and make a difference to the lives of others! I am 26 years […]

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Why we do what we do

Independent custody visitors (ICVs) have a difficult job – they go into police custody to check on the rights, entitlements and wellbeing of detainees.  Their scheme managers, one in each police force area, use their reports to praise good work and to make change when they need to.  Making change is not easy, but this huge team of custody visitings and dedicated managers make improvements to police custody.  The least that we can do, as ICVA, is to highlight this. ICVs will speak to at least 5,000 detainees each quarter and these quarterly updates reflect their findings.  This is hugely […]

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Scheme Manager Blog – A Night in the Cells

It’s 5pm on a sunny Friday in Crawley and I’ve walked into the cell block to be booked in for the next 17 hours. I’m asked to stand in front of the desk and the Sergeant goes through my personal details, questions me about any medical issues, then takes my phone and keys for safe keeping. He gives me a leaflet which I save to read later. Next to me is a male shouting and swearing, with four officers trying to calm him down. He isn’t happy, as he says he was only released yesterday morning and now he’s back. […]

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Guest Blog – Insights from a new ICV

Geoff is a new ICV and is enjoying his role.  He has kindly shared his thoughts with us for a guest blog. Why did you volunteer to become an independent custody visitor? After a lengthy career in the private sector I reached an age (49) when I now have some spare time on my hands and wondered what was the best way to put something back into society. After watching ’24 Hours in Police Custody’, I was amazed how caring and compassionate the Police can be, but also how many vulnerable people there are in society. I read a bit […]

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Use of Force – Blog

Use of force doesn’t look nice. It’s the actions of one or some human being(s) to physically restrain another to a point of compliance. It can look like a fight. It can sound like a fight. It’s often noisy and is moving at a fast pace. Some of the people in the situation that can look and sound like a fight are wearing uniforms. There is no escaping that it the public will have an opinion on use of force and in the days where policing is often videoed by passers-by, footage of use of force is ever more available […]

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ICV schemes prevent torture and ill treatment of detainees and deliver effective oversight of police custody in order to ensure a safe environment and deliver public reassurance.

About the ICVA


ICVA’s suite of training materials equips ICVs with in-depth knowledge of latest best practices required to fulfil their role - from interpersonal communication skills to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE).

About support schemes


ICVA represents ICVs in the NPM, alongside Independent Custody Visitors Scotland and the Northern Ireland Policing Board Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.

About the NPM