Kindness and custody – walking the job, Thames Valley

“Of each other, we should be kind While there is still time.” Philip Larkin. Kindness is so important, isn’t it? We all rely on the kindness of others to muddle through life as best we can. Police custody is no different. I was fortunate to see a presentation by Dr. Layla Skinns on her ‘good police custody study’ earlier this month. Dr. Skinns is developing good practice benchmarks that articulate the results of her five-year project.  She explained the detainee perspective,  exploring what makes custody ‘good’ for detainees (the staff perspective will follow). Her message was loud and clear – […]

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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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My Custody Shift – An Ode to Detention Officers

As a central part of my role at ICVA, I write training, policy and give a host of advice to schemes to pass on to ICVs about what custody and detainee treatment should look like. I spend a reasonable amount of time examining inspection reports, looking at themes and areas of good practice and those that require improvement. What does this have to do with shadowing a custody shift? Well, it’s important to me too, to make sure that the information we are pushing out to schemes, stakeholders and ICVs is balanced and not only promotes good practice and a […]

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24 Hours in Police Custody – Mental Health and ICVs

Argh!  Who else spent an hour pulling out their hair whilst watching 24 Hours in Police Custody last night? Those of you who were enjoying Love Island or football or otherwise can find the episode here. Feel free to watch and pull your hair out at leisure. The episode focussed on a young man and his mental health.  He initially came to the attention of police through a phone call that he made, raising some red flags, but the police we not able to make any traction with it.  He later returned to police custody after his brother called 999 reporting that […]

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Sergeant Guest Blog – how Samaritans make a difference

ICVA often visits police custody to see what happens on the ground.  We were delighted to meet a Sergeant in Dorset who shared her experiences on how police custody can be an opportunity for detainees to turn their lives around: “I’ve been a Sergeant in Bournemouth Custody for over two years. Before this I have worked on a number of specialist areas of policing. For me, Custody represents endless opportunity and change. Here I make a real difference, protect the public and reduce offending. To give an example of this I spent time talking to a 19 year old male […]

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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.

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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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