West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson is looking for community focused compassionate individuals, to join his volunteer Independent Custody Visitor (ICV) scheme.
When a person is arrested by the police, they are taken to a custody suite where they are detained whilst the details of the case are investigated.
To promote transparency, and provide reassurance to communities about the treatment of detainees, an Independent Custody Visiting scheme is in place; UK law requires all Police and Crime Commissioner’s to establish and maintain an ICV scheme.
The scheme enables members of the community to observe, comment and report on the conditions under which persons are detained at police stations. These arrangements also provide an independent check on the way police officers carry out their duties with regard to detained persons.
ICVs are volunteers, over the age of 18, from a variety of backgrounds and different communities, all whom live or work within West Yorkshire.
ICVs can enter a custody suite unannounced, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and are expected to make at least 24 visits spread evenly over a 12 month period. Visits are always conducted in pairs, and visitors report only to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Issues raised by ICVs are dealt with anonymously by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and are taken up directly with West Yorkshire Police; custody visitors remain independent of both the detainee and the police.
Being an ICV is a responsible and rewarding position, anyone who is successful in application will receive relevant training and ongoing support from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Mark Burns-Williamson said “Independent Custody Visitors perform a very valuable role and it’s appropriate that this important work is carried out independently by volunteers from the local community.
“I urge anyone seeking volunteer positions to have a look at the information pack and the further details on my website and see if it’s something they would be interested in.”
West Yorkshire ICV Helen said: “Becoming an ICV is an opportunity to do something completely different and to be a friendly face in somewhere that might be quite scary.”
West Yorkshire ICV Val added: “My favourite thing about being an ICV is helping people, some people may not want to speak to you but the ones that need you make it all worthwhile.”
The recruitment window opens on Monday 27th March 2017 and closes on Sunday 23rd April 2017.
If you would like to find out more, or are interested in becoming an Independent Custody Visitor in West Yorkshire, please contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 01924 294000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website https://www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/custody-visiting.aspx.
A short video about West Yorkshire’s ICV scheme can be viewed online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5zQeeSz19w