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Custody Visiting


Could you help to independently check on the welfare of people held in police custody?

Independent custody visiting is a vital part of the work of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) in ensuring the police service is open and accountable to the people it serves.

It is the well established system whereby volunteers visit police stations to check on the detainees in custody, the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed. This offers protection to both detainees and the police and allows members of the public a real insight into conditions in custody.

The statutory responsibility for the delivery of independent custody visiting has transferred from police authorities to PCCs in November 2012.  Read more about the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme in Avon and Somerset by clicking here.

The vast majority of the public will never see the inside of a police cell.  The facilities offered are basic and are designed to hold people securely and safely for a short time to enable an investigation to take place - for most people less than 6 hours. 

Custody visitors visit detained people to ensure that they have been offered their legal entitlements whilst also checking on their welfare.

"It's all about seeing people to show there are others that care about you."

"To be charged and put into a detention cell, locked-up with my freedom denied would be my worst nightmare. To know that someone is around to check that I am being properly cared for, that somenoe knows that I am here, that I have rights would be a great comfort to me. The ICV services does just that. I am proud to be part of that service."

Are you interested in becoming a custody visiting volunteer? You can read more about it here.

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For more information or if you have any questions about Independent Custody Visiting in Avon and Somerset you can email pcc@avonandsomerset.pnn.police.uk.

You can read a copy of the: Independent Custody Visiting Scheme Annual Report 2013-14 / Independent Custody Visiting Scheme Annual Report 2014-15 / Independent Custody Visiting Scheme Annual Report 2015-16 / Independent Custody Visiting Scheme Annual Report 2016-17 / For 2017-18, see p30-32 of the Annual Report

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