New Year, new challenge?
Become a volunteer!
MERSEYSIDE'S Deputy Police Commissioner is inviting
anyone looking for a new challenge for 2018 to consider becoming an independent
Cllr Emily Spurrell is looking to recruit more volunteers to be part of an
important scheme which sees members of the community check on the welfare of
people detained in Police custody.
The Independent Custody Visiting programme was established following the
investigation into the Brixton riots in 1981 and is now the responsibility of
Police and Crime Commissioners to operate in their respective areas across the
The scheme sees volunteers undertake random, unannounced visits of Police cells
to check on the conditions and make sure those being held are being cared for
There is currently a committed team of 23 volunteers who dedicate their time to
the scheme, but the Deputy Commissioner is now looking to get up to 10 more
The volunteers visit the region's custody suites in pairs, at varied times of
the night and day, throughout the year. Once on site, they check on the welfare
of those detained and the conditions within the suite and produce a report for
the Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, and her Deputy. They can then raise any
issues directly with Merseyside Police.
Emily said:- "Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) carry out an important
public duty which provides reassurance to the public, the Police and to me that
we are detaining men and women here on Merseyside properly and caring for them
appropriately. Detainees are potentially vulnerable and visits by our ICV
volunteers are a key protection for them and a vital part of our criminal
justice system, ensuring their legal entitlements and rights are respected. This
is an interesting and rewarding role where volunteers can make a real difference
within their community and get an insight into how our Police system operates.
By volunteering for this scheme, people can play their part in promoting the
highest standards of policing. This is a fantastic opportunity for people who
are looking for a new challenge for the New Year."
The ICV scheme in Merseyside has been in operation since April 1984, when 20
members of the public were trained as visitors.
Last year, Merseyside's ICV volunteers made a total of 265 impromptu trips to
custody suites in the region, offering to see more than 2,300 detainees.
ICVs must have good observational and thinking skills, strong ethical principles
and be able to maintain confidentiality. They should also be comfortable
challenging authority if required. Ideally the volunteers will also come from a
range of backgrounds, ages and experience.
Volunteers must be over 18 years old and live or work in the Merseyside area.
Full training will be given. It is expected that volunteers make one visit a
If you are interested in applying, please find a full recruitment pack and all
the documents on the PCC's
The deadline for applications is on Friday, 2 February 2018.
You can also find out more about the ICV scheme