Independent Custody Visiting Scheme – ‘A Volunteering Opportunity like No Other’

  • Are you interested in what goes on behind the scenes in police custody?
  • Do you have a flair for bringing people together to make a positive difference?
  • Do you want to gain unique experience like no other volunteering opportunity can offer?

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson is looking for community focused compassionate volunteers to join his Independent Custody Visitor (ICV) scheme.

Custody Visitors have an independent role, checking that people held in police custody (not yet convicted of any offence) are being properly treated.

When a person is arrested by the police, they are taken to a custody suite where they are detained whilst the details of the case are investigated. To promote transparency, and provide reassurance to communities about the treatment of detainees, an Independent Custody Visiting scheme is in place.

ICVs are volunteers, over the age of 18, from a variety of backgrounds and different communities, all whom live or work within West Yorkshire who have broadly based interests in the local community. ICVs can enter a custody suite unannounced, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and are expected to make at least 24 visits spread evenly over a 12 month period.

Visitors speak directly to detained people to ensure that detainees understand their rights and entitlements whilst in custody, and check on their general feeling and welfare. Visitors can also check around the cells, and some areas of the custody suite, for example the food preparation area. They are volunteers and completely independent of the police service.

  • Access to police custody 24/7
  • Direct conversation with detained people
  • Ongoing support and training
  • Ultimate flexibility- volunteer with a fellow ICV at a time that suits you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Visits are always conducted in pairs, and visitors report only to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Issues raised by ICVs are dealt with anonymously by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and are taken up directly with West Yorkshire Police; custody visitors remain independent of both the detainee and the police. Being an ICV is a responsible and rewarding position, anyone who is successful in application will receive relevant training and ongoing support from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

For more information and to download an application pack please visit: https://www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/custody-visiting/recruitment.aspx

A short video on Custody Visiting in West Yorkshire: https://youtu.be/_snD2qDS-_Q

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