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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Sergeant Guest Blog – how Samaritans are making a difference to people in police cells

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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Celebrating fair and dignified detention

  A recent episode of “24 Hours in Police Custody” broadcast a murder investigation, including the early arrest of a detainee. Whereas he initially appeared to be a credible suspect, CCTV soon cleared his name. It’s easy to assume that people in police custody have done something wrong, but imagine if you were in that position – locked up, alone, without your personal belongings, friends or family. How would you feel? Fortunately, in the UK, we have rights and entitlements that embed fairness into our criminal justice system. Independent custody visiting is an incredible service that I am proud to lead. The […]

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Merseyside ICV Blog – What is an ICV and what do they do?

Martin Luther King Jr once said to an audience; Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others? To look out for others and to contribute to my local community, I volunteer as an Independent Custody Visitor (ICV). Following the Brixton and Toxteth riots, Lord Scarman recommended that in order to promote public confidence in policing, a system should be developed whereby policing activity should be made more publicly accessible, easily scrutinised and subject to greater questioning and comment. Over the years this has developed into the Independent Custody Visiting Schemes we now have and have become […]

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My time in police cells – An ICV perspective

As part of Volunteers’ Week 2018, we have invited schemes to take part in guest blogs.  Our first blog below comes from the scheme in Cambridgeshire and talks about an ICV’s experience in police cells.  You can find out more about the local scheme at the Cambridge PCC website “Last week I spent 2 hours in the cells in Parkside police station. Some weeks I have been in the cells in both Parkside and St Neots. I have even been in the cells in Thorpe Wood in Peterborough, in Bedford, and I’ve been to detention facilities in Norfolk. I’m […]

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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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