Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) provide an independent check on the welfare of people who are detained in custody.
Check out what some of our current custody visitors had to say about their role:
What are ICVs?
Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are volunteers drawn from all walks of life whose main role is to provide an independent check on the welfare of people who are detained in police custody. They do this by making random, unannounced visits in pairs to police custody suites throughout the County and reporting their findings.
There are currently an average of 16 Independent Custody Visitors who make regular visits to Dorset Police custody suites. The ICVs also meet on a quarterly basis to discuss their findings at a Team meeting chaired by an ICV elected from their peers and attended by senior members of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and Dorset Police.
ICVs are appointed, trained and overseen by the OPCCand are totally independent of the police force. They carry out an important and highly valued role that helps to strengthen police accountability.
The ICV role is extremely important. Detainees are able to share any concerns they may have related to their detention with the ICV who can then liaise with officers to help resolve any issues.
- The Process of a Visit
- What makes a good ICV?
- History of Independent Custody Visiting
- Dorset Independent Custody Visiting Scheme Guidelines - Jan 2014
- Independent Custody Visiting Association
Read the ICV Visit Reports here.
24 Hours in Police Custody
At the beginning of 2020, Channel Four televised a special edition of 24 Hours in Police Custody. The show was really difficult, but showed some effective care in custody the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) prepared a short blog which explained the key processes seen in the show. Read ICVA's blog on 24 Hours in Police Custody here.