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Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are members of the local community who volunteer to visit Norfolk’s Police Investigation Centres (PICs), unannounced and in pairs, to check the treatment and welfare of detainees and deliver effective oversight to ensure a safe environment while providing public reassurance.
They play a valuable role in maintaining public confidence in this important area of policing.
There is a panel of visitors allocated to each of the four Norfolk PICs (Aylsham, Great Yarmouth, Kings Lynn and Wymondham) who make visits on a weekly basis to make sure that detainees are treated fairly and with respect.
A short report of their findings is made prior to leaving the PIC which provides assurance for the PCC that anyone arrested by the police and held in custody is treated fairly and has access to appropriate facilities. Copies of the reports are provided for the police and the ICVs’ local panel for discussion and follow-up.
Each year, an annual report is published for the local community to inform and reassure them about how people are treated whilst in police custody.
- ICV Annual Report 2015/16 (PDF, 466 KB)
Independent Custody Visiting Scheme for Norfolk Annual Report 2015/16
- ICV Annual Report 2016/17 (PDF, 1.8 MB)
Annual Report 2016/17 for the Norfolk Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.
- ICV Annual Report 2017/18 (PDF, 1.9 MB)
The 2017/18 annual report for Norfolk's Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.
What is the role of an Independent Custody Visitor?
An Independent Custody Visitor (ICV) does not need to know why a person is being detained in custody, and they do not talk to those held about their arrest or follow up on what happens subsequently. The role is purely objective and ensures that the detainees’ legal rights have been offered and explained.
Strict rules of confidentiality apply. Detainees are identified only by their custody numbers and the details of what visitors see and hear must also be treated as confidential.
It is equally important that ICVs maintain their independence and impartiality and do not become involved or take sides. They are there to look, listen and report on conditions in the custody facility.
For more information about Independent Custody Visiting, please contact the OPCCN by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recruitment and eligibility
The PCC is responsible for recruiting, selecting and appointing all custody visitors and seeks to be representative of our communities, including taking account of different ethnic origins, gender and age ranges.
ICVs are unpaid, but receive allowances to cover travelling expenses. They must be over 18 years of age, reside or work in Norfolk and have no direct involvement in the criminal justice system – this is to prevent possible conflicts of interests for the individual and maintains the independence of the Scheme.
Appointment as an ICV is subject to a successful application and interview process. Any appointment is subject to vetting and volunteers are required to sign up to our Memorandum of Understanding.
Applications to become an ICV are considered at any time and further information, and an application form can be found in the documents below:
Successful applicants will need to attend an initial training course to prepare them for the role, and complete a six-month probationary period in order to be fully accredited.
Independent Custody Visiting Association
The PCC is a member of the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA), a voluntary organisation that promotes the Independent Custody Visiting process nationally. ICVA provides advice, training, publicity and ongoing support to all involved in the process.
More information is available on the ICVA website.