Some knickers dropped through my letter box…

I am developing training for ICV schemes about how to hold the police to account.  This sounds grand and the language can rub people up the wrong way, but it’s what we are here to do.  But, it’s not all scrutiny committees; holding the police to account are often the stories that bring tears to my eyes. It’s Friday afternoon, I am in a generous mood and I have been moved by the kindness and determination of my colleagues this week so I want to share with you.  I want to show you how ‘holding the police to account’ can […]

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Bearing Witness

A friend of mine recently talked to me about ‘bearing witness’.  He writes letters for Amnesty sometimes, sending them to people incarcerated thousands of miles away. He spoke of the purpose that this serves – it lets the detainee know that they are not alone and lets their captors know that people care, people are watching what happens, people are bearing witness.  This, in turn, changes behaviours of those who are being observed.  Hopefully for the better. A large part of the working of independent custody visitors, and ICVA, is to bear witness. We watch, observe, record, report, make recommendations. […]

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Changing the narrative

At the end of a recent blog, ICVAs CEO wrote most eloquently (I’m not creeping to the boss honest!) on detainee dignity and rights. This is a point that we often discuss and one of the most compelling and often heard narratives as to why we should uphold the rights and dignity of those held in police custody is often ‘they haven’t been found guilty of anything’. I have a problem with this narrative. Whilst it can be effective in terms of winning over some, often harder to reach, audiences to discuss the importance of detainee dignity and rights, as […]

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ICVAs Chair and CEO talk about working with the APCC

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ICVA 2017 – 2018 Annual Report

ICVA Annual Report 17.18 Please see here for the Independent Custody Visiting Associations Annual Report 2017/8.

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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).

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

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