INDEPENDENT Custody Visitors (ICVs) have made 263 unannounced visits to custody sites and visited 566 detainees in Staffordshire in the last year.
The figures come from the 2016/17 ICV Annual Report which provides an overview of the work of the ICVs.
There are currently 44 ICVs in Staffordshire split between the Northern Area Panel, Southern Area Panel and the Trent Valley Panel. The ICVs work in pairs and can check police cells – where they are granted access to detainees – at any time day or night to make sure custody rules are being observed.
The report shows that between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017 ICVs spent over 17, 492 minutes inspecting the custody suites in Staffordshire.
Voluntary ICVs are appointed by the Police and Crime Commissioner to check on the wellbeing of people held in custody by Staffordshire Police.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Arnold, said: “Roles of Independent Custody Visitors are crucial – not just to the people in custody, but also in promoting public confidence in the system which is essential to making Staffordshire safer.
“ICVs provide vital work behind the scenes of Staffordshire Police in making unannounced checks on conditions of Staffordshire Police cells and the welfare of people in custody.”
Commissioner Matthew Ellis added: “Volunteers play a huge part in society and local communities. Independent Custody Visitors are central to ensuring an open and transparent police service.”
The role is vital to ensure public confidence in Staffordshire Police treating the public with dignity and respect if they happen to end up in custody.
Anyone interested in joining, or finding out more, should email Jane Milgate on Jane.Milgate@staffordshire.pcc.pnn.gov.uk or visit the PCC website at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/independent-custody-visitors