Volunteers wanted to join nationally-recognised custody visiting scheme
Published 3 June 2019
Members of the public are being invited to join Matthew Scott’s nationally-recognised custody visiting scheme.
All Police and Crime Commissioners are required to run an Independent Custody Visiting (ICV) Scheme, whereby volunteers check on the welfare of people detained in police custody. The scheme aims to enhance public trust in the police and assist PCCs in holding local police forces to account.
Kent’s ICVs made 322 unannounced visits to custody suites around the county in 2018/19, personally checking on the welfare of 900 of the 25,000 people detained last year to confirm they had received their rights and were being held in conditions that were up to standard.
Feedback from the ICVs was largely positive. Any issues they identified – such as understaffing or dirty kitchen areas – were promptly resolved by Kent Police.
Currently the scheme boasts 50 ICVs, but Kent’s elected PCC Mr Scott is looking to increase this number to provide additional resilience.
The window to apply opened at the start of Volunteers’ Week, and comes shortly after the ICV Scheme picked up two coveted awards.
Mr Scott said:
‘This year, we worked towards gaining the National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ Investing in Volunteers accreditation and I am pleased to confirm that we passed with flying colours. I would like to thank each ICV and those who work alongside the scheme, in both the OPCC and Kent Police, for helping us achieve this.
‘The OPCC was also working simultaneously to complete the Independent Custody Visiting Association’s Quality Assurance Framework, and we have been awarded the Bronze Award. These two achievements show just how much work has been put into custody visiting here in Kent and we aim to maintain a high quality standard for the future.
‘I would like to thank each of our ICVs for their commitment to the scheme and for helping me hold Kent Police to account. I am pleased that their hard work is being recognised nationally and I am incredibly grateful to them for contributing their time and skills to help protect the people of Kent.’
‘I encourage residents living in the county to take a look at our website and consider applying to join them on the scheme.’