Independent Custody Visitors
We are keen to hear from people interested in volunteering as Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) for the North Worcestershire and Herefordshire Panels.
Independent Custody Visitors are volunteers recruited by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner from the local community. They are independent of the police service. Following training, they work in pairs and are able to make unannounced visits to police stations within their force area to check on the welfare of people detained in custody. They observe, comment and report on the conditions and treatment of people detained. They check that the statutory rights and entitlements governing the welfare of detainees are being observed.
As an Independent Custody Visitor, you would have a vital role in ensuring the welfare of persons in police custody in West Mercia and strengthening public confidence in police custody practices. You would be assigned to a Panel near to where you live or work and with another custody visitor you would be asked to make unannounced visits to the local police station(s) with custody suites. As a volunteer you will be given the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your community, develop your skills and experience, meet people and make friends. You will be provided with training and support to carry out the role. The role is voluntary (unpaid), although travelling expenses are paid.
The scheme does not require a lot of a volunteer’s time but there would be some unsocial hours as visits can take place at any time within a 24 hour period. You would be expected to make a commitment to carry out a minimum of one custody visit per month (lasting approximately one hour plus travel time). In addition you would be expected to attend two evening Panel meetings per year, and one or two meetings or training events usually held on Saturdays. Appointments last for 3 years and may be extended by mutual agreement.
To be eligible to apply you must be over 18, live or work in the West Mercia policing area, and have been a resident of the UK for at least 3 years. You will not be suitable if there could be a conflict of interest e.g. you are a serving Police Officer or Justice of the Peace (Magistrate) or if you have a criminal conviction. You must be happy to travel to custody suites in Kidderminster or Hereford. All applications are subject to Police vetting.
If you would like to be considered for a role within the scheme in these areas, please complete the application form here.
Once completed email to Philip.Compton@westmercia.pnn.police.uk or post to OPCC, West Mercia Police, Hindlip Hall, Worcester, WR3 8SP. He will be in touch with more information on the next stages of the process.
Click here for further information about custody visiting, and what it’s like to take part.