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Essex Independent Custody Visiting Scheme

Essex Independent Custody Visiting Scheme logo

The scheme enables appointed volunteers to visit police station custody suites at any time of day or night, to check on the treatment of detainees.

Independent Custody Visitor - Volunteer

This opportunity is ongoing, with no end date.

The scheme enables appointed volunteers to visit police station custody suites at any time of day or night, to check on the treatment of detainees, the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed. It offers protection to both detainees and police, and reassurance to the wider public. ICVs carry out between two and four visits to custody suites per month, and complete and submit a simple report after each visit. Visits must be undertaken in pairs for health and safety reasons and generally last no more than an hour. It is important that visitors are able to compare different custody suites and the standards within them, so volunteers visit more than one suite in their relevant geographical cluster and at varying times of the day and of the week wherever possible.

What are Independent Custody Visitors?

The programme is designed to independently monitor the standards of police custody suites, and safeguard the welfare of people detained within them.

ICV volunteers are not there to investigate or become involved in any of the on-going investigations which have resulted in the detention of a person.

When custody visitors visit police custody suites they must maintain their impartiality and must not take sides, but look, listen and report on what is seen or said to them by detained people about their experience since arriving in custody. After each visit a report provides a current picture of the custody suite, and any issues that the custody visitor has identified to do with the maintenance standards of the facility, and the rights and welfare of those detained in custody.

The reports are reviewed and the results presented to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, and any issues identified are then followed up.

Who can become an Independent Custody Visitor?

Our custody visiting panel members must be over 18 years of age and are welcomed from all sections of the community. They must be independent of the criminal justice system to prevent possible conflicts of interest and to maintain the integrity of the scheme. Therefore, serving police officers and other serving members of Police or PFCC staff are unsuitable for this reason. The same applies to Special Constables, Justices of the Peace (JPs), and Police, Fire and Crime Panel members.

How to apply to become a Custody Visitor

If you would like to apply for the role of the ICV, please complete the ICV Application and email it to the Scheme Manager at ICV.Scheme@essex.police.uk or post to our office addressing ICV & AWS Manager, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, 1st Floor, Kelvedon Park, Rivenhall, Witham, CM8 1TF.

Where can I find the application form?

More information, along with the role descriptio and the application form can be accessed through our PFCC website on Independent Custody Visiting - Essex Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner (pfcc.police.uk)

What's the duration of the opportunity?

3 years

Where is the opportunity based?


Can students travel to the opportunity via public transport?


What attributes would your ideal volunteer have?

- Listening skills - Empathy - Criminal Justice interest

What skills would the volunteer gain?

- Knowledge of how the Essex Police custody works - Note taking - Providing constructive criticism - Building a positive relationship between the public and Essex Police
  • Your CampusChelmsford
  • InterestsAdmin and IT, Befriending and Mentoring, Children and Youth, Community Action, Crime and Prevention

Employability skills

  • Communication and Literacy 0
  • Critical Thinking 0
  • Emotional Intelligence 0
  • Intercultural Awareness 0
  • Negotiation and Influencing 0
  • Numeracy 0
  • Problem-solving 0
  • Self-Management 0
  • Social Responsibility 0
  • Team Work 0