Your Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), has a statutory responsibility to establish and manage an Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.
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 on the treatment and welfare of people held in police custody.
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 (see documents below) is published for the local community to inform and reassure them about how people are treated whilst in police custody.
An Independent Custody Visiting Timeline 1981-2012 (PDF, 377.4 KB) has been formulated to chart the progress of the Scheme, recognising key changes in legislation brought about by comments and observations of our volunteers.
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.
The Independent Custody Visiting Administrator started in post on 22 September 2015. It is a part-time post with availability Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Contact details –
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.
A rolling plan of recruitment is planned for any new volunteers and the Independent Custody Visiting Application Forms (ZIP, 724.3 KB) provides more information on the process.
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.
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.
ICVA Briefing for PCC Candidates (PDF, 2.0 MB)
This election briefing produced by the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) for PCC candidates explains the statutory responsibility of elected PCCs to provide a custody visiting scheme.
Independent Custody Visiting Annual Report 2012-13 (PDF, 681.8 KB)
Annual report 2012 - 2013 for the Independent Custody Visiting.
Independent Custody Visiting Annual Report 2013-14 (PDF, 391.6 KB)
Annual Report 2013/14 for the Norfolk Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.
Independent Custody Visiting Annual Report 2015/16 (PDF, 465.5 KB)
Annual Report 2015/16 for the Norfolk Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.
Independent Custody Visiting Application Forms (ZIP, 724.3 KB)
Application forms for Independent Custody Visitors.
Independent Custody Visiting Timeline 1981-2012 (PDF, 377.4 KB)
History timeline of the Independent Custody Visiting.
41 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were elected across England and Wales on the 15 November 2012. When the elected PCCs took office on the 22 November 2012 they became responsible for a combined budget of £8 billion.
PCCs aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area. Their role is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account, effectively making them answerable to the communities they serve.