As part of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984, Codes of Practice - Code C - all police forces in England and Wales are required to have an Independent Custody Visiting scheme.
The responsibility for this scheme has been assigned to the Police and Crime Commissioners. Due to the close working links the Hertfordshire Law School has with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Hertfordshire, we are able to offer those of you living in the community a chance to contribute to improving national standards, by becoming an Independent Custody Visitor.
You will study PACE legislation and the Code C Regulations, in order to gain knowledge regarding detention, treatment and questioning of detainees in custody. You will also learn about the Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) Codes of Practice and complete Independent Custody Visiting Forms using scenarios, in order to gain experience of completing the documentation that Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are required to complete, after visiting detainees in custody.
Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) visit custody suites in England and Wales, which provides members of the public with the confidence in policing standards and supporting the rights of detainees whilst in police custody. Your duties include carrying out visits to designated police stations with fellow Custody Visitors, to check on the custody suites and the individuals detained. You will be required to carry out discussions with detained people to check on their treatment and the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed, as well as completing the required documentation regarding the visit and abiding by the Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) Codes of Practice.
We will arrange visits from Independent Custody Visitors, in one of the co-curricular sessions, so that you can speak to current ICV’s about their experiences of the role (when possible). The co-curricular provides you with additional knowledge about PACE legislation and detention, treatment and questioning of detainees in custody.
As part of the co-curricular course, you are given a copy of the application form that is required to be completed, in order to apply to become an ICV. We work with you to provide help and guidance on completing the application forms. You are then able to use the knowledge that you have obtained from undertaking the course, to then apply to become an ICV, if you wish to.
If you are successful in your application to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, you will gain valuable experience for your potential employment opportunities, through networking and gaining further transferable skills.
These volunteering positions are an opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge of the legal system, which complements the formal criminological and legal studies.