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PCC celebrates his ICV volunteers during Volunteering Week

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, is thanking his Independent Custody Visitor (ICV) volunteers during Volunteer Week 2020. The ICVs are volunteers completely independent from the Police who visit custody suites across the county to check on the welfare of detainees.

The ICVs check food supplies, clothing supplies, the cleanliness and safety of the custody suites and, if there is a detainee being held during their visit, they will ask how the detainee has been treated during their time in police custody. The volunteers then report any issues, if any, through a report to the PCC and these are looked at in order to make improvements.

The visits are spontaneous and police officers do not know when the ICVs are visiting, the visits can happen at any time of day and on any day.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ICVs for their outstanding work helping to keep our detainees and custody suites safe.

“They all give up their free time to attend the custody suites and to make sure everything is as it should be – even though this practice has been paused during COVID-19 to protect the health of our volunteers.

“The volunteers are extremely important to make sure everything is impartial and unbiased and that we are running everything as we should.

“As a result of COVID-19 our ICVs cannot make their visits but I look forward to welcoming them back once it is safe for them to return.

“As our ICVs are not carrying out their regular checks due to COVID-19 we are still dip sampling custody records to ensure that the standards expected are being maintained.”

An ICV volunteer in Cumbria, said: “After many years working in the criminal justice system.

“I was of the view that the police themselves would welcome regular independent inspections of police cells and of those under arrest during an investigation by representatives of the community.

“This provides an assurance that detainees are being fairly treated within the law and regulations governing suspects temporarily detained in police cells.”

To apply to be an ICV for the PCC please visit the Cumbria PCC website: https://cumbria-pcc.gov.uk/what-we-do/custody-visiting/

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