National Volunteers Week

Merseyside / June 01

To mark National Volunteers' Week, we are celebrating the work of our 29 Independent Custody Visitors, who give up their free time to check on the wellbeing and welfare of detainees.

Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are members of the local community who volunteer to check on the welfare of people detained in police custody.

ICVs make unannounced visits to police custody suites in pairs and report on their findings. The Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, is then informed of any issues that arise during a visit to consider if appropriate action is required. Recommendations made by ICVs can require the police to make improvements for the welfare of detainees.

As a result, ICVs play a valuable role in maintaining public confidence in this important area of policing.

Merseyside's Independent Custody Visiting Scheme was established in 1984 following the recommendations of Lord Scarman in 1981 in the wake of the Brixton Riots and is now run and overseen by the Commissioner.

During 2018/19, a total of 234 independent custody visits took place across Merseyside. During those visits, 1,294 detainees consented to be seen by ICVs.

To mark the week, we will be featuring testimony from our volunteers on the PCC's social media channels every day and sending thanks to each of our 29 volunteers.

Jane said: "To celebrate National Volunteers' Week 2019, I would like to pay tribute to Merseyside's 29 Independent Custody Visitors. They dedicate their free time to checking on the welfare of others, making sure people who are detained in police cells are being care for and treated appropriately.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their selflessness, their dedication and their commitment. Their work is a vital part of our system to prevent crime and disorder, and care for everyone's human rights."

Find out more about the Independent Custody Visiting scheme here or take a look at our tributes on the PCC's twitter page or facebook page.